Aaron Judge blasted a pair of solo home runs to raise his season total to 59 and move within two of the single-season American League record as the visiting New York Yankees avoided a series sweep with a 12-8 comeback victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Judge homered in the third and again in the seventh to pull within two of the AL and Yankees team record of 61, set by Roger Maris in 1961. Judge also hit a two-run double in the ninth for a 12-6 lead.
Milwaukee (78-68), which entered Sunday 1 1/2 games behind San Diego in the wild-card chase, got two runs in the ninth on Jace Peterson's pinch-hit ground-rule double. But the Brewers left the bases loaded.
New York (88-58), which trailed 3-0 in the first, pulled within 4-3 in the third on consecutive solo homers by Judge and Anthony Rizzo, his 31st. Rizzo returned Sunday after being on the injured list since Aug. 31 with headaches from an epidural injection for back issues.
The Yankees scored four in the fifth against the Brewers' bullpen to go in front 7-4.
Judge walked, Rizzo singled and Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. Giancarlo Stanton bounced to third, but second baseman Kolten Wong mishandled the throw, allowing one run to score on the error. Oswaldo Cabrera followed with an RBI infield single and Kyle Higashioka singled in two more.
The Yankees made it 10-4 in the seventh on Higashioka's RBI groundout, Aaron Hicks' seventh homer of the year and Judge's second round-tripper.
Rowdy Tellez brought Milwaukee within 10-6 in the eighth with a two-run homer, his 31st.
Yankees starter Gerrit Cole (12-7) allowed four runs on four hits in five innings, striking out eight and walking three. Hoby Milner (3-3) took the loss in relief after starter Jason Alexander went 3 2/3 innings, yielding three runs on six hits and a walk.
Wong had a three-run homer, his 12th, for Milwaukee in the first.
Cabrera had a solo homer, his second, in the second inning. Tyrone Taylor answered in the bottom half with his 17th homer to put Milwaukee up 4-1.
--Field Level Media