ARLINGTON -- Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez each crushed two home runs and Didi Gregorius had four hits as the Yankees won for the second time in three games against the Rangers with a 16-7 victory Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
"It was a combination of a lot of hits, a lot of guys getting on base and having good at-bats right from the get-go," Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said. "It was a lot of fun. This was one of those games that's a lot of fun to be a part of. It was a big series win for us."
The victory allowed the Yankees to move within 3 1/2 games of the Red Sox in the American League East. The Yanks also now have a 3 1/2- game lead over the Twins in the AL Wild Card race with 20 games left. With the Twins losing on Sunday, the Rangers remained 2 1/2 games behind them for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Judge hit two home runs for the fourth time this season and first since June 11 against the Red Sox. The 41 home runs are the second most by a rookie in Major League history behind Mark McGwire's 49 in 1987.
"Yeah, especially when he was in that home-run hunt with Sammy Sosa, chasing him," Judge said of joining McGwire. "It was fun to watch especially as a kid. To be in that same category, it's pretty special."
The Yankees had 18 hits as Gregorius tied a career high with four. Ten of the hits were for extra bases as Sanchez also hit two home runs in a game for the fourth time this season. He has 30 and set a career high by scoring four runs.
"An outstanding day," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Gregorius. "We put him in the 4-spot because he's been productive there and it kind of breaks our left-handers up, gives us left-right-left a lot of times. But he's just had an outstanding year."
Rangers starter A.J. Griffin took the loss, allowing five runs in three-plus innings. Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery also had a short afternoon, getting pulled with one out in the fourth and being charged with three runs. Reliever Chad Green (4-0) picked up the win by allowing just one run in 2 1/3 innings behind Montgomery.
"Any loss at this point is bad," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "The main thing at this point is to win series and it didn't happen. But we can't worry about that. We just have to turn the page and get ready for the next series."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Martinez can't shut door: Rangers manager Jeff Banister, with his team trailing 3-1, pulled Griffin in the fourth after Jacoby Ellsbury led off getting hit by a pitch and Austin Romine singled to right. But reliever Nick Martinez couldn't keep it close, as Gardner lined a two-run triple and scored on a single by Chase Headley. A double by Sanchez and a single by Gregorius brought home Headley. Martinez got Starlin Castro to ground into a double play, but another run scored to make it 8-1. Judge then hit his 40th home run into the Rangers' bullpen and Martinez was pulled for Yohander Mendez.
"Today was a situation where it got away from us quickly," Banister said. "We couldn't stop the bleeding."
Judge, Sanchez have big seconds: Judge's second home run, coming in the sixth off Mendez, was crushed as it hit off the top of the wall in the back of the visitors' bullpen in left field. It was measured at 463 feet by Statcast™, his third longest of the season and tied for the third longest at Globe Life Park this season. Sanchez's second home run came off Tyson Ross in the eighth and landed high up Greene's Hill in center field. Statcast™ had it at 461 feet, the second longest of his career according to Statcast™. This was the fifth time in three years there have been two 460-plus home runs by a pair of teammates in a game.
"It's incredible what these kids have done, and there's still three weeks to go," Girardi said. "They'll continue to add to those numbers. But these kids are talented."
"I haven't gotten it yet. I'm still looking for it, but it's somewhere. Yeah, it'll be nice to get it. It's pretty cool." -- Judge, on receiving the ball from his 107th walk
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sanchez is just the third player in history to reach 50 home runs within his first 162 career games (Sunday was game No. 161). McGwire and Rudy York were the first two. Sanchez and York are also the only players to reach 50 home runs and 125 RBIs in their first 162 games. No one else had combined those two benchmarks.
Rangers catcher A.J. Jimenez singled in the seventh for his first Major League hit.
JUDGE SETS WALK RECORD
Judge walked to lead off the second inning, giving him 107 for the season. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that's a Major League record for rookies. Elias is the official statistician for Major League Baseball, but other sources, including MLB.com, have Ted Williams with 107 walks as a rookie in 1939.
Due to the uncertain nature of record keeping in the early part of the 20th century, some discrepancies may exist between the stats provided today by different historical data providers. MLB.com makes every effort to maintain accurate data, and in doing so may periodically update specific numbers to match the records maintained by Elias Sports Bureau, the Official Statistician of Major League Baseball.
ODOR INJURED IN COLLISION
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor sprained his left ankle in a collision with teammate Nomar Mazara as they chased a fly ball by Austin Romine. Odor limped off the field without assistance and underwent X-rays, which were negative. He will undergo further testing. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees:CC Sabathia opens a three-game set with the Rays in New York at Citi Field on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET on the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He's 2-0 with a 3.33 ERA since returning from the disabled list Aug. 19.
Rangers: The Rangers open a key four-game series against the Mariners, who are also chasing an AL Wild Card spot, at 7:05 p.m. CT Monday at Globe Life Park with Cole Hamels on the mound. Hamels is 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in his past three starts.