Judge 4 walk, still at 60 HR; Yankees win AL East, top Jays

TORONTO (AP) – Aaron Judge has walked four times and in 60 home runs, falling short of Roger Maris’ American League record, as the New York Yankees won the AL East title by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Tuesday night.

The Yankees have celebrated their first division championship since 2019 and 20th overall, tied for second with the Dodgers behind Atlanta’s 21, but not home run history. New York (95-59) took a bye advantage in the first round and home in the Series Division.

“I would walk four times to win every day,” said Judge, who has scored twice.

The Yankees made their mark with a noisy and vibrant party in the clubhouse.

“This is a pivotal moment,” Judge said.

Judge lined up in his first game and then drew four straight runs in the seventh game in a row with no home run. He’s made 11 walks in 30 appearances since reaching 60th against Pittsburgh last week.

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All five appearances on Judge’s plate are fully accounted for – he witnessed 33 throws, 14 hits. His longest drought without a home game this year was nine in mid-August.

The Yankees have eight games left in the regular season for Judge to either draw or break the AL mark set by Maris in 1961.

Judge’s batting average was at .314 when he went 0 to 1. He started the day leading in all three AL Triple Crown categories.

Despite the loss, Toronto (87-68) maintained the top spot in the AL Wild-card leaderboard.

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Gleyber Torres hit three hits and drove on three occasions to beat Jameson Taillon (14-5).

Taillon threw 7 sharp thirds, allowing for two runs and five hits. He won 4-0 in the five games he started his career in Toronto.

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Lou Trivino finished second in first and second, and brought on George Springer in a doubles match that ended his first on-court half.

Trivino ended it on the ninth goal for his first save against the Yankees, and the 11th of his 14 chances.

Kyle Higashioka had three on target and scored twice and Anthony Rizzo had two on target as New York won for the eighth time in nine games.

Many in the crowd of 40,528 booed as José Berríos (11-7) fought the Judge in the third and fifth rounds.

Rizzo’s RBI single in season three scored Higashioka and brought Judge down to number two. The New York driver scored thanks to Torres’ shot on target.

Judge started the fifth and third part of Rizzo’s bloop single before Torres drove him a second time.

When Harrison Bader was dropped from the starting line-up, Judge moved from the right-court to the center-court, picking up one of Yankee’s two off-court assists in the sixth inning.

Bader came on as a defensive substitute in the seventh inning, shifting Judge to the right.

Higashioka and Aaron Hicks chased Berríos down with doubles in the sixth round, making it 4-1. Right-hander Zach Pop faced Judge and took a 0-2 lead before performing an eight-yard walk, prompting more boos.

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Blue Jays right-hand man David Phelps took a 1-2 lead on Judge with return spins and misses in the eighth round, but three of the next four pitches were on the ball.

Springer scored on Taillon’s second pitch of the game, but the Yankees right winger parried 15 of the next 16 hitters.

Springer’s home run was his 24th of the season and the 52nd lead of his career.

Taillon dropped 10 consecutive discs after Whit Merrifield’s lead single in season three. Springer ended that streak with a stellar sixth round single.

Bo Bichette followed with a single to mid and hit a second-pointer, but was called out after head referee Tripp Gibson ruled Bichette had no feet on the soles while being pinned by short laner Isiah Kiner-Falefa card.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr followed with an RBI single but was thrown out at the second base by left-hander Hicks, meaning the Toronto rally ended with three consecutive hits.

Berríos allowed five runs and nine hits in five thirds, losing his second game in a row after a six-game unbeaten streak. His ERA has increased to 5.37.

Berríos hit 1,000 career shots when he caught Hicks looking to end the third half.

60 MEET 60

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Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews took the ceremonial first pitch. In April, Matthews became the first American-born player in NHL history to score 60 goals in a single season. Along with Maple Leafs teammates Michael Bunting and Mitch Marner, Matthews and Judge posed for pictures outside the Yankees club before the game.


Yankees: INF DJ LeMahieu (right toe inflammation) could return as soon as Wednesday after hitting and running pre-match bases. Manager Aaron Boone said: “The past few days have been encouraging for him. “There is a chance he can play tomorrow. If not, I’ll probably push a little more until Friday.” New York rests Thursday before the end of its home schedule with Baltimore.


Yankees RHP Gerit Cole (12-7, 3.49 ERA) started the final series on Wednesday against Blue Jays RHP Mitch White (1-6, 5.12 ERA). Cole is five more goals away from breaking Ron Guidry’s mark of 248 in 1978, the only record of the Yankees’ season.


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