CHICAGO — Aaron Judge blasted a 456-foot home run, but that wasn’t his biggest hit on Thursday.
Instead, a two-run infield hit that a hustling Judge beat out in the eighth inning gave the Yankees the lead in a 15-7 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
They went on to score seven two-out runs in the eighth to put the game away in their 16th win in 18 games to build a season-high 4 ½ game lead over the Rays in the AL East.
The 15 runs was the most the Yankees have scored since 2020. And, as has become customary, they found new ways to do it against a White Sox team that had won seven of eight.
While Judge (who had four RBIs) and Giancarlo Stanton (who drove in six) combined for three homers, the two sluggers also had key singles as the Yankees pulled away in the eighth after right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga’s latest meltdown.
After Loaisiga allowed a game-tying three-run homer to Yoan Moncada in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees batted around in the eighth.
The rally started against Joe Kelly, who retired the first two batters he faced before he walked Marwin Gonzalez, Gleyber Torres (pinch-hitting for Kyle Higashioka) and DJ LeMahieu to load the bases for Judge.
Judge, who had blasted a game-winning homer in The Bronx on Tuesday, grounded to short. Tim Anderson fielded the ball and had to make an off-balance throw to first.
Judge just beat it out and Gonzalez scored easily before Torres raced all the way home from second.
After Anthony Rizzo walked to end Kelly’s miserable outing, Stanton delivered a two-run single off lefty Tanner Banks and Josh Donaldson sealed it with a three-run homer to left.
The win moved the Yankees to an MLB-best 23-8 in the first game of an eight-game road trip.
And they did it all with spot starter Luis Gil on the mound.
The 23-year-old, called up with the Yankees in the midst of 23 games in 22 days, gave up four runs in four innings, but avoided further damage by striking out Anderson with runners on second and third to end the fourth inning.
Chicago starter Dylan Cease gave up six runs in just four innings despite striking out 11.
Stanton got the Yankees off to a good start. After LeMahieu started the game with a double to left, Stanton crushed a two-run homer to right-center.
Gil cruised through the bottom of the first, but gave up three runs in a 30-pitch second inning.
The Yankees tied the game in the third.
Judge walked with one out and Rizzo ripped a triple down the right field line.
Stanton then took Cease deep again to the opposite field to put the Yankees on top, 5-3.
In the fourth, Higashioka singled with two outs and scored on LeMahieu’s double past third base.
The White Sox loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth with a walk from Gavin Sheets and hits by AJ Pollock and Adam Engel.
After a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, Gil got Leurys Garcia to hit a grounder to third and Donaldson threw home for the second out.
With Anderson batting, a wild pitch by Gil scored Pollock. Gil rebounded, however, and whiffed the shortstop to keep it a two-run game.
Gil left after the fourth inning and the Yankees turned the game over to their bullpen, which has held up well during the first month of the season.
Loaisiga’s struggles, though, continued.
Miguel Castro, in the fifth, and Lucas Luetge, in the sixth, both pitched scoreless innings.
Judge hit his team-leading 11th homer of the season to lead off the seventh against Ryan Burr, his seventh in his last dozen games.
Loaisiga came on after Luetge gave up a single to start the bottom of the seventh and walked Anderson before Moncada took him deep.
It was the third homer allowed by Loaisiga this season in 12 ²/₃ innings. He gave up three all of last season in 70 ²/₃ innings.
Chad Green finished the game with two scoreless innings.
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