By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — This time, the short porch at Yankee Stadium ended up hurting the home team.
Even with one of baseball’s tallest players posted at the wall.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning that nicked the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge in right field, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Yankees 5-3 on Monday in a matchup between the top teams in each league entering the night.
“It should give us a lot of confidence,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s good for our young guys that come into a place like this against a team like this, as good as they are, and play well.”
Johan Camargo homered early and Jesse Biddle pitched out of a late jam for the NL East leaders, who followed up a three-game sweep in St. Louis with their fourth consecutive victory. Atlanta (49-34) is 15 games over .500 for the first time since the conclusion of the 2013 season.
New York (54-28) fell a game behind first-place Boston in the AL East.
The 20-year-old Acuna also doubled and drove in three runs, four years to the day after the touted rookie signed with the Braves.
“First time here at Yankee Stadium,” he said through a translator. “First home run at Yankee Stadium is very special to me.”
Judge hit his 23rd homer and second in two nights. Gleyber Torres had three hits and scored twice, but the rookie second baseman’s 10th error since he was called up April 22 helped Atlanta get started in the 11th.
Playing on the outfield grass, Torres booted Nick Markakis’ leadoff grounder. One out later, Acuna lofted a 1-2 pitch from David Robertson (5-3) the other way. Judge, all 6-foot-7 of him, got in good position at the auxiliary scoreboard and jumped, but the ball glanced off the tip of his webbing and cleared the fence.
“Tough play. I want to make that play for D-Rob and I wasn’t able to come through,” Judge said. “That’s all it is, just a little timing. If I time it up right I make that play. On that one, I was just a little late.”
Robertson slumped near the mound as an excited Acuna circled the bases with his seventh home run — third in the past six games.
“Man, when he hit it I thought it was an out, to be honest with you,” Robertson said. “Playing here at Yankee Stadium, you see it happen all the time. The short porch gets you in right field.”
Robertson had faced 182 right-handed batters without giving up a home run since Adam Rosales connected off him on June 25, 2017.
A.J. Minter got three outs for his fourth save .
“He’s got a save in Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium. I mean, that’s pretty good for a first-year reliever,” Snitker said. “And you can tell, he’s liking that situation, too. He doesn’t back down. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself.”
New York stranded 12 and went a season-worst 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees had the bases loaded with one out in the 10th before Biddle (2-0) struck out Greg Bird and Austin Romine on seven pitches. The left-hander fanned four in two scoreless innings.
“These fans are pretty loud, and I was just trying to quiet them down,” Biddle said.
Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for the Yankees, hitting a season-high 104 mph on the stadium radar gun to oohs and aahs from the crowd of 43,792. Dellin Betances retired slugger Freddie Freeman with runners at the corners to end the 10th.
Judge hit a pop-fly homer to right in the first and has gone deep in four of his last six games. Camargo answered with a leadoff shot in the third against rookie starter Jonathan Loaisiga, who was sent to the minors after the game.
Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs in six innings.
Loaisiga was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open a spot for RHP A.J. Cole (neck strain), who will be reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said there’s a good chance Loaisiga will return next Monday to start in a doubleheader at Baltimore.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
With the international signing period open, the Yankees landed the younger brother of ace pitcher Luis Severino. Rafael Severino is a 19-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic who will start out at the club’s academy there.
“Yippee. Sign me up for that,” Boone said. “Definitely good to have another Severino in the mix.”
The elder Severino, who is 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA, leads the majors in wins and the AL in ERA. He said he was excited, and happily delivered the news to his kid brother.
“He was flipping out. He didn’t believe it,” Luis Severino told reporters . “I think he’s going to be really good.”
Braves: Reliever Peter Moylan was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained right forearm and RHP Matt Wisler was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. OF Michael Reed and RHP Evan Phillips were called up from Triple-A. … Arodys Vizcaino (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen and could come off the disabled list Tuesday. Vizcaino, who has 15 saves, has been sidelined since June 21.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (two strained hamstrings) threw a bullpen and is scheduled to make a rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A. He could rejoin the team early next week in Baltimore — perhaps in time to pitch in the doubleheader. … As a precaution, Romine (left hamstring) was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive night. He entered at catcher in the ninth. Romine will likely start one of the next two games, Boone said.
Braves LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.71 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Tuesday night against rookie RHP Domingo German (2-4, 5.32 ERA).