Jasson Dominguez provides spark as Yankees pummel Justin Verlander, Astros


HOUSTON — The Yankees celebrated the arrivals of Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells by holding a home run derby against Justin Verlander. 

Dominguez got in on the fun, crushing one of four home runs off Verlander, and Wells also got his first hit out of the way as the Yankees beat the Astros 6-2 win on Friday night at a sold-out Minute Maid Park. 

Dominguez and Wells both went 1-for-4 in their MLB debuts, providing a spark as the Yankees (66-69) played spoiler against the playoff-contending Astros (77-59). 

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu also homered off Verlander, who has typically had his way with the Yankees before a role reversal on Friday. 

Judge’s home run was the 250th of his career in his 810th game, making him the fastest player to reach that mark. Ryan Howard previously held the record, reaching 250 home runs in 855 games. 

Despite missing two months of the season with a torn ligament in his big right toe, Judge has still hit 30 home runs in 81 games this season, the fourth-most in the American League. 

Jasson Dominguez #89 of the New York hits a two-run home run in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
Jasson Dominguez (89) hits a two-run homer in his first Major League at-bat off Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.
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Carlos Rodon did well to limit the potent Astros lineup, limiting it to just two runs across five innings.

The Astros made him work, as he needed 72 pitches to get through the third inning, but he finished off his night by retiring seven straight.

The left-hander scattered three hits and one walk while striking out four. 

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander pauses after giving up a two-run home run to New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who was acquired from the Mets earlier this summer.

LeMahieu set the tone for the night by leading off the game with an opposite-field shot, his sixth home run in his last 10 games. 

Then, after Stanton drew a two-out walk, Dominguez roped a two-run homer the other way to make it 3-0. 

Wells delivered in his first plate appearance as well, working a 3-2 count before pulling a single to right field for his first career hit. 

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees high-fives Giancarlo Stanton #27 after hitting a home run in the fifth inning.
Aaron Judge (99) high-fives Giancarlo Stanton (27) after hitting a home run in the fifth inning.
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In the third inning, Stanton delivered a massive two-run shot, clobbering a curveball 433 feet, over the train tracks in left field for the 5-1 lead. 

Judge walked to the plate to loud boos to lead off the fifth inning and immediately answered by drilling the first pitch he saw onto the train tracks for a 426-foot home run that made it 6-2.


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