N.Y. Yankees' Aaron Judge guided by faith during hot start to 2020 season

The New York Yankees have only played in eight regular-season games since Major League Baseball began its unprecedented 60-game season, and star outfielder Aaron Judge is already threatening to re-write history.

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The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge has homered in five consecutive games, the first Yankees player to accomplish the feat since Alex Rodriguez in 2007. The all-time record for home runs in consecutive games is eight.

Judge extended his streak early on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox when he sent a second-inning pitch sailing 419 feet over the wall in left field at Yankee Stadium. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Judge blasted another two-run home run, which traveled 468 feet and gave New York a 9-7 lead that ended up being the final score.

Sunday’s matchup was the third victory for the Yankees over the Red Sox in as many days. The sweep over its biggest rival leaves New York with a 7-1 record and a two-game lead in the American League East.

Much of the Yankees’ early success can be attributed directly to Judge. Six of his nine hits have been home runs, and every one has either tied the score or given New York the lead. He’s accumulated 14 RBIs.

“He’s in a groove right now,” teammate Luke Voit told MLB.com after the game, “and I’m excited to see what he can do in 60 games this year with how he’s raking right now. It’s a guy that you don’t want to take your eyes off when he’s hitting.”

As he ran down the third-base line Sunday following his second homer of the night, Judge pointed to the sky, as he often does during home-run trots. During his rookie season, he was asked who he was thinking of when he pointed upward.

“The Lord,” Judge told the assembled media. “He put me in this position, blessed me with so many opportunities in my life. I just try to take a quick moment just to kind of thank Him. I just got a chance to hit a home run at Yankee Stadium. That’s something not too many people can say they’ve done. It’s a blessing every time I step on that field and get that opportunity.”

Judge took the league by storm during his first full MLB season in 2017. He led the American League in home runs (52), earned the first of two All-Star appearances and won AL Rookie of the Year.

The 28-year-old has been limited by injuries the past two years, and in spring training in March it was revealed that he had sustained a stress fracture in his ribs and a collapsed lung. However, Judge used the prolonged delay during the coronavirus pandemic to get back to full health.

Judge, who says he is a Christian on his Twitter account, lists the Bible verse 2 Corinthians 5:7 in his header photo: “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

“It’s one of my favorite Bible verses,” Judge said in December. “I try to live my life by it, and always trust the Man Above and what He’s got in store for us. We never know what’s around the corner, but if we have faith in Him, He will lead us in the right direction.”

Judge will seek to continue his dominance on Monday night when the Yankees take on the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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