Yankees walk off Red Sox, 5-4, as Aaron Judge goes hitless

Yankees walk off Red Sox, 5-4, as Aaron Judge goes hitless


Aaron Judge finally connected on a ball Thursday night. After walking three times and striking out, the Yankees’ slugger came to the plate with one out in the ninth of the tied game and got two pitches to hit. He fouled the first fastball off and then gave the second, another fastball, a ride. The crowd, already on their feet for his every at-bat, screamed as the ball sailed high and 404 feet deep—just to the wall at dead center field at Yankee Stadium. That would have been a record home run in eight other ballparks, but Thursday night in the Bronx it was just a fly out.

Josh Donaldson’ ground ball past Rafael Devers scoring the ghost runner for a 5-4 walkoff win was at least a consolation.

The win clinched a playoff spot for the Yankees (91-58). With the win and the Blue Jays loss to the Rays earlier, dropped the Bombers magic number to win the American League East to six (combinations of Yankees wins or Blue Jays losses.”

Giancarlo Stanton beat out a ground ball to shortstop to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Tim Locastro, pinch running, stole second and scored on a Harrison Bader sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4.

For the second straight game, Judge was held without a home run. The Yankees slugger holds at a major-league leading 60 homers, one shy of the American League and team record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961. The Maris family was at the Stadium again Thursday night.

Michael Wacha walked Judge on four pitches to start his night and was booed loudly. In the third inning, Judge worked a seven-pitch walk. In the fifth inning, Wacha needed five pitches to strike Judge out swinging on a changeup. In the seventh, with a runner on second base, Red Sox right-hander John Schreiber walked Judge on five pitches. His fly ball off Matt Barnes at the center field wall sent the fans screaming only to groan when it came up short.

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It was the fourth game this season in which Judge has been walked three times.

Judge came into the night 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts against Wacha. He was slashing .309/.424/.618 with  five homers and 15 runs scored in the first 15 games against the Red Sox this season.

Judge went into Thursday night’s game in the lead for the American League batting title with a .317 batting average. He leads Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (.316) and the Twins’ Luis Arraez (.313). With his major- league-leading 60 home runs and his MLB best 128 RBI, Judge could also become just the third Yankee to win a Triple Crown, joining Lou Gehrig (1934) and Mickey Mantle (1956). The only player to win a Triple Crown in the last 50 years was Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

But Judge did at least make a defensive play that brought the crowd to their feet. He played a fly ball off the right field wall and fired a one-hopper to second base to get leadoff hitter Tommy Pham at second base in the top of the ninth. That allowed Clay Homes to get through the inning unscathed. Holmes, who has struggled of late, also pitched a scoreless top of the 10th.

Stanton hit his second homer in three games, his 28th of the season was a two-run shot in the sixth. Stanton has struggled since missing 28 games with a leg issue, slugging .267 with a .520 OPS in the 21 games since his return.

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Jameson Taillon held the Red Sox scoreless for six innings, striking out eight. He walked one batter and scattered four hits

.Red Sox rookie first baseman Triston Casas led off the seventh with a soft fly-ball home run to the short porch in right field off Clarke Schmidt, who then gave up a ground-ball single to Kike Hernandez and walked Yu Chang to set up a three-run go-ahead, pinch-hit homer by Reese McGuire.

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Aroldis Chapman got in trouble in the eighth. After striking out Alex Verdugo, Chapman walked J.D. Martinez on six pitches and lost the strike zone, walking Casas on four pitches. Aaron Boone went to Lou Trivino, who walked Kike Hernandez to load the bases, before working his way out of it.

The Yankees managed to pull out a run in that fifth, which led off with rookie Oswaldo Cabrera drawing a walk. Harrison Bader and Isiah Kiner-Falefa each singled and Kyle Higashioka drove in the run on a sac fly. Wacha struck out Judge before walking Anthony Rizzo to load the bases. He got Gleyber Torres swinging to get out of the inning without much damage.

And they got the three-run shot from Stanton in the sixth.

Wacha allowed three runs on six hits, including the home run to Stanton. He walked four and struck out five over six innings of work.

Rizzo grounded into a double play after Judge walked in the seventh. It was his second GIDP of the night and the Yankee’s fourth.



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