Aaron Judge hits another two home runs in Yankees win, Soto helps Padres defeat the Diamondbacks
Aaron Judge seems determined to end any discussion about who the American League MVP is, slugging his 58th and 59th home runs of the season in the New York Yankees' 12-8 road win against the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was a massive day for Judge, who finished four-for-five at the plate, also adding a two-run double in the ninth inning to give his side some breathing room.
In a game where the two teams combined for 28 hits, Anthony Rizzo and Oswaldo Cabrera both collected three each for the Yankees, while Tyrone Taylor and Kolten Wong had three each for the Brewers, including a home run each.
It was a mediocre start on the mound for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, giving up four runs in five innings while striking out eight batters, but he was still credited with the win as the Yankees never surrendered their lead after he left the game.
The win moves the Yankees' record to 88-58, leaving them with a five-and-a-half game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East, while they remain seven-and-a-half games behind the Houston Astros for the best record in the American League.
Soto shines in Padres win
Juan Soto has been in a slump for the past month, but he began to break out of it with three hits in the San Diego Padres' 6-1 away win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Soto, 23, was acquired by the Padres in a blockbuster trade at the deadline that saw the Washington Nationals receive one of the biggest hauls in the history of the league, but he is yet to live up to his hefty price.
After just 10 hits in the past month (10-of-74, .135 batting average), Soto went three-for-four on Sunday with a walk, a single, a double and a home run. It was his first home run of September.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Yu Darvish was excellent for the Padres, striking out eight batters in six scoreless innings while allowing only one hit and one walk.
Alvarez stays red-hot for the Astros
Other than Judge, there is arguably not a hotter hitter in the league right now than Yordan Alvarez, who notched another four RBIs in the Houston Astros' 11-2 home win against the Oakland Athletics.
While Soto had only 10 hits in 30 days before Sunday, Alvarez is now on a 10-game hitting streak, and he has 13 hits from his past six games after a pair of doubles against the Athletics.
In any other year, Alvarez would be considered a real chance to win AL MVP, as he boasts the third-most home runs in the league (37), the second-best slugging percentage (.630) and the third-best on-base percentage (.407) – but he trails Judge in all three categories.
On the mound, Framber Valdez gave up two earned runs in six innings, giving him his league-leading 26th 'quality start' of the season. No other pitcher has more than 23.
Yordan unloads the bases. pic.twitter.com/qZAlRpJHFA— Houston Astros (@astros) September 18, 2022