NEW YORK (AP) A night after Shohei Ohtani showed off his MVP tools, Aaron Judge did him one better at Yankee Stadium.
Judge robbed Ohtani of a homer with a juggling catch just before hitting a two-run shot, and the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Wednesday on Gleyber Torres' sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
Judge also saved the go-ahead run with a diving grab in the eighth, and the Yankees evened this star-studded series after Ohtani went deep in the opener.
“You want to play against the best,” Judge said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Gio Urshela tied it 2-all for the Angels in the eighth with a two-out RBI single against his former team - one pitch after Wandy Peralta balked Hunter Renfroe to second base.
Brandon Drury followed with a slicing drive to right-center that would have knocked in the go-ahead run if Judge hadn't made a sensational catch just shy of the warning track.
“You’ve just got to be an all-around athlete,” Judge said. “You’ve got to be an all-around player.”
Angels manager Phil Nevin was ejected in the ninth for arguing after Mike Trout was called out to end the inning on a full-count check swing with two on against Clay Holmes. Between innings, Nevin went all the way out to shallow right field to get in the face of first base umpire Will Little and give him an earful.
“I felt like I didn’t go. It was tough. Big moment," Trout said. “That was an easy one to lay off. I shouldn’t even be chasing it in the first place. That’s on me.”
With one out and the automatic runner at second, Judge was intentionally walked in the 10th before Matt Moore (1-1) plunked Anthony Rizzo with a breaking ball to load the bases.
Torres, in a 1-for-21 slide, lofted a fly ball to deep right-center, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored easily from third without a throw.
Ian Hamilton (1-1) worked a scoreless inning for his second major league win, aided by a fine play at third base from DJ LeMahieu.
“This was a great baseball game, it really was,” Nevin said.
It certainly got off to a rousing start when Ohtani, the second batter, sent a high fly to deep center field. The 6-foot-7 Judge went back to the wall and jumped, a little to the right of the 408-foot sign in front of Monument Park.
The ball hit the heel of Judge’s glove well above the fence and caromed back toward the warning track. As he landed on his feet after keeping the ball in the park, Judge stuck out his bare hand and completed the catch - a snapshot play headed for the highlight reels in this three-game series featuring several of baseball’s biggest stars.
“If I was a good outfielder I would have caught in on the first try,” Judge cracked, drawing laughs. “A juggling act there, but we made the play.”
Judge paused a moment and flashed a wide smile as he tossed the ball in.
“I don’t know how that ball didn’t get out,” Trout said. "Obviously, he changed the whole game.”
Judge then launched a two-run shot to left-center in the bottom of the first off Griffin Canning for his sixth homer this season. The slugger hit 62 last year, breaking the American League record.
Ohtani hit a two-run homer in the first inning Tuesday night, sending the Angels on their way to a 5-2 victory. The two-way superstar won the 2021 AL MVP award before finishing runner-up to Judge last year.
Ohtani had several chances to do damage Wednesday but stranded three runners with inning-ending strikeouts in the fifth and seventh.
Los Angeles went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 overall.
Yankees rookie Jhony Brito rebounded from a dreadful outing last week, allowing one run in 4 1/3 innings.
Canning permitted two runs over 5 1/3 innings in his second start following a long injury layoff.
WAY TO GO, KID
Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe made two terrific plays at shortstop. He singled in front of Judge's homer and then again leading off the eighth, when he fought back from 0-2 to a full count. Volpe also walked in the third and stole a base.
“Special,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “Probably his best game all-around so far.”
Yankees: 3B Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) felt hamstring tightness during a chilly rehab game Tuesday with Double-A Somerset. His next step is uncertain. “Hopefully, I don't think it was anything too severe,” Boone said. ... LHP Carlos Rodón, sidelined since spring training with a strained left forearm, had tests on his bothersome back. “I think it's just kind of a nagging thing,” Boone said.
Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (1-0, 1.23 ERA) gets the ball for a late-afternoon start in the series finale Thursday. Sandoval won his only previous matchup against the Yankees, throwing seven innings of three-hit ball with seven strikeouts last August at home.
Yankees: All-Star lefty Nestor Cortes (2-0, 2.60 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in nine straight starts, matching the longest such streak in Yankees history.
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