Wed, 29 Nov 2023

With division clinched, Yankees look to finish off Jays

Field Level Media
28 Sep 2022, 16:40 GMT+10

The New York Yankees are the American League East champions, but Aaron Judge has some unfinished business to tend to Wednesday night against the host Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees clinched the AL East and a first-round playoff bye on Tuesday night with a 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays while Judge went 0-for-1 with four walks and two runs.

Judge remains with 60 home runs for the season going into the rubber match of the three-game series. He is chasing the AL record of 61 set in 1961 by New York's Roger Maris.

It was the second time in his career that Judge has walked four times. Each walk brought louder boos from the crowd of 40,528 on Tuesday. He also walked four times against the Orioles in Baltimore on Sept. 4, 2017.

Judge, who showed superb plate discipline, did not seem to mind.

"Not when you win," he said. "I'll take four walks for a win every single day."

Gleyber Torres went 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the Yankees, twice driving in Judge.

There was more good news for the Yankees (95-59). They hope to have DJ LeMahieu (toe inflammation) in the lineup possibly by Friday. The infielder has been out since Sept. 5.

"The last couple of days have been encouraging for him," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the Tuesday game. "So there's a chance he could be in play (Wednesday). If not, maybe I might push a little more to Friday when we open (at home) against the Orioles. But we're about at that point of 'Let's get this thing going.'"

The Blue Jays (87-68) are still trying to wrap up a playoff berth. They hold the first AL wild-card spot, which brings with it home-field advantage throughout the first round of the playoffs. They have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays (85-69) for the top wild card.

The Blue Jays will start right-hander Mitch White (1-6, 5.12 ERA) in the series finale. He has made one career appearance against New York, a start on Aug. 20 in which he allowed one run and seven hits with five strikeouts in four innings.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (12-7, 3.49 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees. Cole is 5-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 11 career starts against Toronto, including an 0-1 mark with a 5.40 ERA in two starts this year.

The Blue Jays helped the Yankees with some baserunning mistakes on Tuesday. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. posed as if he thought that he had hit a home run in the sixth inning. The ball did not leave the park and went for an inning-ending RBI single when he was retired while trying for a double. Interim manager John Schneider said that he planned to talk to Guerrero about not running hard earlier on the play.

"We're at the point where every little thing matters," Schneider said. "Every 90 feet matters. It should matter every day of the season."

In the same inning, Bo Bichette was tagged out when he came off the bag at second after an apparent double that became a single.

Toronto center fielder George Springer led off the bottom of the first with his 24th home run of the season against Jameson Taillon. It was his ninth leadoff home run of the season and the 52nd of his career, the fourth most in major league history.

Bichette was 1-for-4 and has 44 hits this month, the most ever by a Toronto player in September. Aaron Hill had 43 hits in September 2007. The shortstop also committed his 22nd error of the season in the fifth inning on Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

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