Aaron Judge stayed at 60 home runs, one shy of Roger Maris’s American League record, and the New York Yankees’ bid to clinch the AL East stalled when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit an RBI single in the 10th to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-2 win Monday night.
Judge led off the game with a single, then struck out twice and walked twice as New York’s winning streak ended at seven. The Yankees would’ve sealed the division with a win.
Judge has now gone six games without a home run. He’ll try again Tuesday night to match the AL mark of 61 set by Maris in 1961. Judge’s batting average remained at .314 — he began the day leading all three Triple Crown categories.
Guerrero’s two-out single off Clarke Schmidt (5-5) scored automatic runner Cavan Biggio from second base. Toronto won its third straight and increased its lead atop the AL wild-card race by 2½ games over Tampa Bay.
Judge scored the opening run of the game on a first-inning sacrifice fly by Gleyber Torres, and walked in the third before being erased on a double play. Judge struck out looking in the sixth and went down swinging in the eighth.
With runners at first and second and two outs in the 10th, Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider replaced righthander Anthony Bass and brought lefthander Tim Mayza (8-0) on to face Judge. Toronto intentionally walked Judge to load the bases for lefthanded hitter Anthony Rizzo, who grounded out.
Back in right field after making his 22nd start at DH Sunday, Judge again left history on deck. Since connecting for No. 60 on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh to spark a ninth-inning comeback, he is 5 for 18 with three doubles, seven walks, and eight strikeouts.
Judge made a fine catch on Bo Bichette’s deep drive in the bottom of the 10th, then threw to second to keep Biggio from advancing.
Greeted with a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd of 34,307 before his first at-bat, Judge opened the game with a sharp single to right field that had an exit velocity of 112.9 miles per hour. Rizzo doubled Judge to third before Torres drove him in with a fly to right.
Braves within one game of Mets
Bryce Elder threw a six-hit shutout for his first career complete game as the Atlanta Braves won in Washington, 8-0, to close within one game of the first-place Mets in the NL East and hand the Nationals their 100th loss of the season.
Matt Olson and Orlando Arcia hit two-run homers and Marcell Ozuna added a solo shot for Atlanta, which, like New York, has already clinched a playoff berth. Both teams have eight games remaining, including a head-to-head three-game series beginning Friday in Atlanta.
Elder (2-3) threw 106 pitches and allowed only one runner to reach third base while taming the Nationals in his eighth career start. He struck out six for the Braves, who have won three in a row and 8 of 11. It was the rookie’s first victory since April 12, when he defeated Washington in his big league debut.
The Nationals are a major league-worst 53-100, their first 100-loss season since going 59-103 in 2009. Washington fell to 15-52 against NL East foes.
Atlanta improved to 13-4 against the Nationals.
Manoah honored for supporting teammate
Blue Jays righthander Alek Manoah has been honored with a sportsmanship award for defending teammate Alejandro Kirk after the catcher was criticized online for his weight.
Manoah received a roughly $73,000 sponsorship prize and immediately donated it to KidSport, a Canadian nonprofit that gives children the opportunity to participate in organized sports.
Earlier this month, Manoah reacted angrily when Montreal radio host Matthew Ross tweeted that Kirk was “embarrassing the sport” because of his weight and figure. Kirk, a fellow first-time All-Star this season, is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 245 pounds, according to his bio on MLB.com.
Ross was responding to a video highlight of Kirk scoring from first base in a game Sept. 13 against Tampa Bay.
Manoah, who has thrown to Kirk in all but one of his starts this season, fired back at Ross, urging him to “step aside from the keyboard.”
“Go ahead and tell that 8 year old kid who is 10lbs over weight that he should quit now,” he wrote. “Let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness.”
Ross subsequently deleted the tweet and shut down his account before issuing a public apology for his remarks.
To recognize Manoah’s actions, Dove Men+Care announced a sponsorship honoring athletes for their sportsmanship and named Manoah as the first recipient.
In a news release, Dove Men+Care praised Manoah for “promoting body positive reassurance” and demonstrating “notable sportsmanship on a global stage.” The company also announced Manoah’s intention to donate the prize to KidSport.
Manoah, who debuted last season, is 15-7 for the Blue Jays, who lead the AL wild-card race. His 2.31 ERA is fourth lowest in the major leagues. Manoah has a salary of $706,200 this season.