Aaron Judge helped pace New York's 7-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday by going 2-for-2 with a home run, two runs scored, two RBIs, and two walks. Judge got the Yankees on the board in the third inning with a solo homer off Hyun-Jin Ryu, tying the game at 1-1. He later added a go-ahead sac fly in the fifth, putting New York ahead for good. The long ball was Judge's 37th of the year, seven of which have come over his last 16 games as he ends the 2021 campaign on a tear. He's also tallied 18 RBIs during that stretch, raising his season total to 94. The pair of hits raised his batting average to .287 and his OPS to .914, giving him a well-rounded batting line and reinforcing the idea that he is more than just a slugger. The 29-year-old's biggest asset to New York has been playing in 143 games this year after missing significant time with injuries in each of the past three seasons. When Judge is healthy, few hitters are more dangerous in the batter's box.
Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-2 with a solo homer and a walk against the Orioles on Tuesday. Schwarber boosted the Red Sox to an early 1-0 lead with his second-inning solo shot -- his 32nd of the year and seventh in 36 games since joining the Red Sox at the trade deadline. He's now hit safely in eight of his last nine games with six extra-base hits, 10 RBIs, and 11 runs during that span, doing everything he can down the stretch to help Boston secure a postseason berth. The hot streak has lifted his average to a rock-solid .266, which is 30 points above his career average and would be a personal best if he sustains it. He's batting .295 since joining the Red Sox, where he's benefitted from playing half his games in Fenway Park. With Schwarber set to hit free agency this winter at age 28, the All-Star slugger has set himself up for a nice payday with the best offensive season of his career. While his power and patience are proven skills, it remains to be seen if he can replicate his strong batting average from this season considering that his .305 BABIP is 31 points higher than his career mark.
Giancarlo Stanton powered the Yankees to a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday by going 2-for-5 with a double and a three-run homer. Stanton continued his torrid hot streak with a three-run bomb in the seventh inning that put the game out of reach for Toronto. The timely dinger increased his season totals to 35 taters and 96 RBIs, more than half of which have come over the past two months. Since the beginning of August, Stanton has 19 homers and 50 RBIs in 51 games, leading the Yankees back into contention after a disappointing first half. He's now homered in four straight games while tallying multiple hits in all four, raising his average to .278 and his OPS to .886. While his size and high strikeout rate make him prone to streaks, this is his hottest stretch of sustained hitting since his MVP campaign in 2017. He's rapidly closing in on his fourth career 100-RBI season and has now reached 35 round-trippers in five separate seasons. The 31-year-old has caught fire at the perfect time for the Yankees, salvaging what was shaping up to be a disappointing season for the four-time All-Star.
Andrew Benintendi helped the Royals to a 6-4 win over the Indians on Tuesday by going 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk. After Kansas City allowed three runs in the top of the first, Benintendi answered with a two-run shot in the bottom of the frame, driving home Salvador Perez. The dinger was Benintendi's 17th of the year -- the second-highest figure of his career thus far. Benintendi is finishing his first season in Kansas City on fire with five home runs and 26 RBIs over his last 21 games, padding his stats now that the Royals have been eliminated from postseason contention. Or perhaps he's finally settled in after playing nearly 130 games for his new team. The 27-year-old has had his share of ups and downs throughout his MLB career, but his hot finish to 2021 could bode well for his performance in 2022 and beyond. Regaining his plate discipline will be key, however, after watching his walk rate crater to 6.2 percent this season -- well below his career 10.5 percent walk rate coming into the season. Regardless, it's encouraging to see that the talent is still there for the former first-round draft pick.
Salvador Perez continued his home run barrage on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with a double, a solo homer, three runs scored, and a walk against the Indians. Perez propelled Kansas City to a 6-4 win over Cleveland with his MLB-leading 47th home run and 118th RBI of the year, which gave the Royals a 4-3 lead in the sixth -- with three of KC's runs being scored by Perez. Tuesday was Perez's third straight multi-hit game, raising his average to .276 and his average to .865. He now has nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 26 games this month as he continues to end his monster season on a high note. The 31-year-old is dialed in right now and has shown no ill effects of playing 156 of his team's 157 games this season, including 123 behind the plate. It's that type of elite durability along with his power that makes Perez one of the best catchers in baseball.
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