Judge launches 2023’s first homer in opening AB

Aaron Judge rang in Opening Day the same way he marked many games last season: with a home run.

In his first game as New York Yankees captain, Judge hit a solo drive in the first inning off San Francisco’s Logan Webb on Thursday, a 422-foot shot into the netting above Monument Park in center field.

Judge took a strike on the 39-degree day at Yankee Stadium, then hit a thigh-high cutter on the outside part of the plate for a 109 mph drive and his first Opening Day home run.

Gerrit Cole has been strong on Opening Day as well, becoming the first Yankees starter to throw 10 strikeouts in the regular-season opener — and doing so in just four innings.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 home runs last season, one more than Roger Maris’ total with the 1961 Yankees.

He became a free agent and considered signing with the Giants before striking a nine-year, $360 million deal to remain with the Yankees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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