NEW YORK -- On the same day they honored several heroes of the past, a new era of New York Yankees baseball began with a bang.
Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge, who were called up by the Yankees from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, delivered back-to-back home runs in their first major league at-bats during the second inning of an 8-4 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Austin and Judge are the first pair of teammates in baseball history to accomplish the feat, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"You can't draw it up any better when you call up two young players," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
With two out in the second, Austin drove a 2-2, 92 mph fastball from Rays right-hander Matt Andriese just over the 314 sign in right field, which prompted both Austin and Girardi to pump their fists in celebration.
"I don't think I could've asked for anything better," Austin said. "It's pretty awesome."
Shortly after, Judge followed with a mammoth blast when he drilled a 1-2, 87 mph changeup from Andriese off the batter's eye glass in center field.
"What a day," Judge said. "That's all I can really say."
According to ESPN's home run tracking data, Judge's towering homer traveled 457 feet with an exit velocity of 109 mph. It tied for the fourth-longest home run ever hit at Yankee Stadium, behind Raul Ibanez (477 feet), Alex Rodriguez (460 feet) and Carlos Correa (459 feet). Mark Trumbo also hit a 457-foot shot.
On Friday, Rodriguez, who has 696 career home runs -- trailing only Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762) -- played his final game as a Yankee. Rodriguez was officially released before Saturday's game.
Austin and Judge each finished with two hits in four at-bats. The duo had combined for 32 homers this season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Austin 13, Judge 19).
Judge, 24, has long been considered one of the top prospects in New York's farm system, while Austin, also 24, has had to overcome several injuries and other setbacks to get to this point. Judge, a 6-foot-7 slugger who general manager Brian Cashman said will become the team's every-day right fielder, was ranked as the No. 23 overall prospect in Keith Law's midseason rankings. Austin will play a reserve outfield/first-base role behind Mark Teixeira, Cashman said.
The players found out they were getting called up in different ways. Austin learned of his promotion before the RailRiders' road game Friday in Rochester, New York, while Judge was eating dinner with his parents after the game. Scranton manager Al Pedrique, who also happened to be having a meal there, approached Judge around midnight with the good news.
"He kind of walked up and said, 'You guys better hurry up. This guy's gotta be in New York for a game tomorrow,'" Judge said. "It kind of took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting that at all. I was just glad my family was able to be there and enjoy that moment."
Both players planned to give Saturday's home run balls to their families.
Judge did not get into New York until 6 a.m. Saturday. He got the opportunity after Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner injured his ankle Friday and wasn't going to be available. Gardner is day-to-day.
"I felt bad because they're up in Rochester, but with it being Judge's first call-up, he's not going to sleep anyway," Cashman said. "It's a 1:25 p.m. first pitch. Thank God he's young, because if it were me, I'd be a zombie right now. With the adrenaline, he'll bounce back, and hopefully that'll be enough for him to enjoy the day."
The Yankees, known in past years for their lavish spending on superstar talent, shifted gears at the trade deadline by unloading Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller and adding several prospects to their system.
Their youth movement got off to a strong start Saturday.
"There's a lot of excitement that they have, and probably rightfully so," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Judge definitely looks the part. If he wasn't playing baseball, it looks like he should be a defensive end somewhere. He's massive. He's bigger than [Giancarlo] Stanton."