With a packed house on hand in The Bronx on Wednesday waiting to see one thing, Aaron Judge’s 61st homer, fans had to settle for something else: another Yankee rout.History will have to wait, as Judge didn’t homer in a 14-2 win over the Pirates, but his pursuit of the American League Triple Crown continued with two doubles and the Yankees got all the offense they needed from Oswaldo Cabrera, who hit a first-inning grand slam, and Gleyber Torres, who went deep twice in the bottom of the eighth.
Still, fans weren’t satisfied, as the Yankees batted around in the eighth inning, allowing Judge the chance to come up for a fifth time.
But Pittsburgh rookie left-hander Eric Stout walked Judge on four pitches, eliciting loud boos from the crowd.
Torres followed later in the inning with a three-run shot, after already having hit a solo blast.
Aaron Boone said he noticed a different energy at the Stadium.
“It felt even more so than [Tuesday] night,” the manager said a night after Judge’s 60th home run. “Tonight, it felt like they were waiting for that big moment, obviously.”
It never came, and the crowd was even disappointed with the pair of doubles, including a ground-rule double down the left-field line in the fifth.
“I didn’t know if it was a foul ball,’’ Judge said. “I didn’t hear a cheer. I didn’t know what was going on. The fans pack the house to see us win a ball game and hit homers. I’ve got to cut out the doubles.”
Next up are the Red Sox in Judge’s pursuit of No. 61, as Boston comes to the Stadium for a four-game series beginning Thursday. Roger Maris hit his 61st homer against the Red Sox in 1961.
Judge and the offense weren’t the only contributors to the win, as the Yankees inched closer to securing a playoff berth.
Luis Severino pitched five strong innings in his return from a lat strain.
Severino said he felt good in his first start since July 13 and Boone was excited by Severino’s sharpness and fastball velocity after such a long absence.
He ended up allowing just the one run in five innings, removed after 65 pitches, with plenty of time to be built up for the playoffs.
The right-hander said he also fed off the electricity in the crowd, even though fans were there to see Judge, who extended his season-long hitting streak to 11 games.
“It’s gonna be like that for a little while,’’ Severino said.
“I feel like when Judge is going to home plate, it’s going to be part of history,’’ Torres said. “Everybody, I guess, feels the same way.”
Severino has been impressed with Judge’s approach, even when he doesn’t go deep.
“The good thing I’ve seen is he’s not going up there to hit homers,’’ Severino said. “He’s having great at-bats and helping us win. It’s an incredible season. He might win the Triple Crown.”
Judge remained barely ahead of Boston’s Xander Bogaerts in the race for the batting title.
On Wednesday, he got plenty of assistance.
Cabrera’s first-inning slam came after Giancarlo Stanton ended Tuesday’s win with a walk-off grand slam.
After Severino pitched out of trouble in the top of the first, Judge opened the bottom of the inning with a double to left and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Torres walked with one out and Stanton drew a two-out walk to bring up Cabrera, who hit one into the right-field seats for a 4-0 lead against former Yankee prospect Roansy Contreras, part of the package given up for Jameson Taillon.
Lucas Luetge gave up a two-out triple to Rodolfo Castro in the sixth and an RBI single to Ke’Bryan Hayes, but was otherwise effective. The Yankees put the game away in the eighth, as Torres became the first Yankee since Alex Rodriguez in 2009 to homer twice in one inning.