ST. PETERSBURG — The campaign has started. With Jose Trevino’s eighth-inning go-ahead home run Wednesday night to give the Yankees a 5-4 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field, Aaron Boone and Aaron Judge were beating the drum. Trevino should be one of the Yankees’ many All-Stars.
“Oh, without a doubt. What he’s doing this year is special,” said Judge, whose two home runs also powered the Yankees Wednesday. “I think he’s gonna continue to do that for quite a few years and I think he so far deserved the right to go to L.A. this year and represent the Yankees and represent the elite.”
“I know there’s a lot of great catchers out there in the league, and especially the one we just got done facing, Alejandro Kirk of the Blue Jays is another great one in this league,” Judge continued, “but I think he definitely [has] been offered this opportunity and he’s taking full advantage of it.”
The Yankees (51-18) are now 14-4 after losses this season, won their 18th series of the season and their second straight over the Rays (37-32). They are 26-12 against the American League East. They have the best record in baseball and finished the six-game road trip 4-2.
Judge, who has an arbitration hearing to decide his 2022 salary via zoom Friday morning, got the Yankees to the point Trevino could make a difference. He hammered his major league-leading 26th and 27th homers Wednesday night.
It was his sixth multi-home run game of the season and the 22nd of his career. The six multi-home run games through the team’s first 70 games are the second most in baseball history, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Only Reggie Jackson’s seven in 1969 are better.
Judge’s first homer was a 396-foot shot off Shane Baz in the fourth inning. His second was a majestic 406-foot home run over the catwalk at The Trop in the seventh, cutting the Rays lead to a run.
The arbitration hearing is over a $4 million difference. Judge wanted $21 million, the Yankees offered $17 million. The Bombers did offer Judge an extension that would have been worth over $230 million including this season, but they could not come to an agreement before his Opening Day deadline.
Trevino’s homer was clutch.
It was his third go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later this season, tying him with Anthony Rizzo for the most on the team. The two-run, 406-foot shot gave the Yankees their first lead of the night and their 20th comeback win of the season.
It was Trevino’s career-high sixth home run in 113 at-bats this season, one more than his total in 285 at-bats all of last year.
It’s not just his offense.
Trevino has been key to the Yankees’ pitching success this season. Wednesday night, he got a grinding Jordan Montgomery out of a bases-loaded jam by picking off Taylor Walls at third base.
“That pick really helped me out,” Montgomery said. “He’s been awesome. Great behind the plate, great working with him and offensively he always comes up big.”
Montgomery just wasn’t sharp from the beginning, but because of concerns about their bullpen usage, they had to ride with him as long as they could. The Yankees lefty allowed a season-high four runs, snapping a streak of 13 straight starts of three earned runs or less. He gave up two on home runs, the first time he has allowed multiple homers in a game this season. He walked two and struck out a season-low tying two.
Montgomery got seven swings-and-misses, four on his changeup and none on his fastball.
“I thought he made some good pitches tonight. We got a little unlucky but I just tried to help them out there me and [third baseman Josh Donaldson] and we got it done,” Trevino said. “So it was good.”
An All-Star nod would be Trevino’s first. In the first report on All-Star voting, Trevino is second, but well behind Kirk.
“I mean, if it happens, it happens,” Trevino said of being an All-Star. “I want to win a championship and that’s pretty individualized. An All-Star game that’d be really cool, but I want to win a championship.”