New York Yankees' Aaron Judge tosses his bat as he is walked by Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman during third-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO — Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees will have to wait at least one more day to achieve home run history and crack some bubbly.
Judge stayed at 60 home runs, one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record, and the 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 (94-59) would’ve sealed the division with a win.
“We treat every game as if it was a postseason game,” Judge said. “First game of this year to this game tonight, nothing really changes.”
Judge has now gone six games without a home run — his longest drought this season was nine games in mid-August.
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’s leading in all three Triple Crown categories.
Guerrero’s two-out single off Clarke Schmidt (5-5) scored automatic runner Cavan Biggio from second base. Toronto (87-67) won its third straight and increased its lead atop the AL wild-card race to 2 1/2 games over Tampa Bay.
Toronto is 17-8 in September. Among AL teams, only Cleveland (18) has more wins this month.
“We’re not afraid to fail,” Guerrero said through a translator. “We’re having fun right now.”
Even with first base open, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he preferred to pitch to Guerrero rather than walk him and face Blue Jays designated hitter Alejandro Kirk.
“You don’t really like either of those matchups, so it’s pick your poison,” Boone said.
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 right-hander Anthony Bass and brought left-hander Tim Mayza (8-0) on to face Judge. Toronto intentionally walked Judge to load the bases for left-handed hitter Anthony Rizzo, who grounded out.
“I don’t think I’ve been hitting lefties well all year, so you don’t know what analytics is going to say,” Judge said with a smile. “Once they made the move, I kind of had a feeling.”
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 flyball to right.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa made it 2-0 with a two-out homer in the second, his fourth.
Making his second start for the Yankees since returning from the injured list, right-hander Luis Severino allowed two runs and three hits in four innings. Severino threw 76 pitches, 49 for strikes. He struck out four and walked three.
“He had a few walks in there, but I thought he was getting it where he wanted to for the most part,” Boone said. “They just kind of outlasted him with some tough at-bats.”
Severino didn’t allow a hit until Bichette singled to begin the fourth. Guerrero followed with a potential double-play grounder to short, but Kiner-Falefa bobbled the ball and threw late to first. Alejandro Kirk walked to load the bases and Teoscar Hernández followed with a double off the top of the center field wall.
Rizzo and Torres hit back-to-back one-out singles in the sixth but Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman struck out Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton.
Gausman allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven, reaching 200 for the second consecutive season, and walked one.
Toronto put runners at first and second with one out in the seventh but Jonathan Loaisiga came on and struck out George Springer, then got Bichette to ground out.
New York lost a game decided in the final at-bat for the MLB-leading 11th time. The Yankees have 16 wins in their last at-bat this season, also the most in the majors.
Toronto is 30-19 in one-run games. The Blue Jays set a franchise record within 34 one-run wins in 1984.
Judge was the leadoff batter in his first four plate appearances.
A male fan in the front row of the left field seats wore black judge’s robes and a long, white wig. He sat behind a small sign reading ‘All Rise.’
Yankees: INF DJ LeMahieu (right toe inflammation) will take early BP Tuesday and is expected to test his injury more intensely, Boone said. … Boone said RHP Frankie Montas (right shoulder) is “trending in the right direction” and could resume throwing this week.
Blue Jays: OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (left hamstring) has resumed running, Schneider said. … INF Santiago Espinal (left oblique) has started hitting off a tee.
Yankees RHP Jameson Taillon (13-5, 3.90 ERA) starts Tuesday against Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (11-6, 5.27 ERA).
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