CINCINNATI — The Yankees powered past the Reds, 6-2, to take the opener of their three-game series Friday night at Great American Ball Park on the back of homers by Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo.
Starter Clarke Schmidt and the bullpen made the runs stand up for the Yankees’ fourth win in their last five games and their ninth in 12 games. Schmidt went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out six.
Judge hit his 13th home run of the season in the first — a laser shot to right-center that left the bat at 109.6 mph. It was Judge’s seventh home run in his last seven games and extended his hitting streak to seven.
Rizzo followed Judge’s homer with a single. But Reds right-handed starter Ben Lively retired the next 16 Yankees in a row before walking Judge with two outs in the sixth.
Cincinnati then replaced Lively with reliever Ian Gibaut. Rizzo greeted him with a shot to right for his 10th of the year, and it was 3-0. It was Rizzo’s 23rd home run at Great American Ball Park — his most at any opposition stadium.
Schmidt, who entered the game at 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA, had allowed three hits in five scoreless innings before he was chased after giving up a single and a double to start the sixth.
The Yankees then brought in right-hander Jimmy Cordero, who gave up a two-run double to Jake Fraley but escaped from there with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning and squash the rest of the Reds’ threat.