NEW YORK – Seemingly every chapter of this Yankees season has brought a new layer of history.
On Sunday, it was almost for all the wrong reasons.
Astros starter Jose Urquidy took a no-hitter into the seventh, but Aaron Judge smacked a walk-off home run in the 10th as the Yankees salvaged a four-game split with a stunning 6-3 win.
It’s the 10th walk-off victory of the year for the Yanks and the second of the series for Judge, who was the hero on Thursday.
Michael King held the Astros scoreless in their half of the 10th, even after Isiah Kiner-Falefa flubbed a routine ground ball to start the inning.
Now the concern turns to Gleyber Torres, who left the game after a mild ankle sprain. Torres and the Yanks were held hitless for more than 16 straight innings dating back to a loss on Friday night. It’s their longest streak over the last 70 years according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Giancarlo Stanton put that streak to an end with a solo home run to center with one out in the seventh.
DJ LeMahieu hit a game-tying, two-run home run off reliever Phil Maton an inning later to re-ignite a crowd of 44,028 fans.
Before then, the Yankees were in danger of losing three straight games for the first time since May 22-23.
Urquidy retired the first 11 batters on Sunday after watching three of his Astros teammates combine for a no-no a day earlier. But the Yankees came to life when Houston manager Dusty Baker called to the bullpen after Urquidy threw 100 pitches over seven effective innings.
How bad had things gotten for the Yankee offense at that point? One of the loudest ovations of the day came when a cloud provided a momentary break from the steamy summer sun.
A Yankees hitter didn’t reach base until there were two outs in the fourth when Anthony Rizzo worked a walk.
The Astros subdued the Stadium crowd on the first pitch of the game when Jose Altuve belted a leadoff home run off starter Nestor Cortes. Houston added two more runs in the fourth inning when Mauricio Dubon dunked a two-run single to center.
Cortes allowed three earned runs and struck out seven in five innings of work.
In his last four starts, Cortes has come back down to Earth by allowing 12 earned runs in 19 innings (5.68 ERA). His workload became a topic of conversation before the game as the 27-year-old has never thrown more than 93 innings in a major league season.
Manager Aaron Boone said he doesn’t have a specific limit this season for Cortes, although the Yankees want to be careful not to over-work their rotation. Boone is considering using a sixth starter for the upcoming series against Oakland with the Yanks in a stretch of 20 straight days without an off day.
“I’m not going to put a limitation on (Cortes),” Boone said before the game. “Just be smart about it. I think it’ll kind of declare itself as we go on.”
Down the road
Left-hander Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless inning on Sunday in a rehab outing with the Double-A Somerset Patriots.
It’s the second appearance in three days for Chapman (left Achilles tendinitis), who’s about to be joined by a pinstriped teammate.
Domingo German is on his way north for a rehab game Tuesday with Somerset. German tossed three scoreless innings in a start on Wednesday with Single-A Tampa and continues to work his way back from right shoulder impingement.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday and Wednesday. If all goes well, the Yankees could have the hard-throwing reliever face live batters next weekend.
Sean Farrell is a sports reporter for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run as NY Yankees beat Houston