NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees for the first time since his right wrist was broken seven weeks ago, taking over in right field for the final two innings of New York’s 11-0 romp over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Judge had not played since July 26, when he was hit by a pitch from Kansas City’s Jakob Junis. The Yankees say for now Judge will be limited to defense and pinch running, but they hope he will become a regular at some point in the regular season’s final two weeks.
He was given a standing ovation by the crowd of 40,138 when he ran onto the field for the start of the eighth and another a minute later when he was introduced by public address announcer Paul Olden. Judge ran to the base of the right-field wall after his warmup tosses — just in front of the Judge’s Chambers. He handed the ball to a woman in the first row who passed it to a widely smiling girl next to her. Before the ninth, Judge tossed his warmup ball into the upper deck.
Toronto did not hit any balls to Judge.
Masahiro Tanaka (12-5), bidding to start a likely wild-card game against Oakland on Oct. 3, extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings and won his third straight start. Dominating with a sharp splitter, Tanaka struck out eight in six innings and allowed four hits. Luis Cessa got his second save in New York’s largest shutout win margin since a 15-0 victory over the Mets on June 14, 2009.
New York improved to 13-4 against Toronto this season. Starting their final homestand, the Yankees remained 1¢ games ahead of the Athletics for home field in the wild-card game.
Judge, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year, is hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 61 RBIs. New York originally projected he would sidelined by the injury for three weeks, but pain lingered and he missed 45 games,
“It’s about hopefully getting him enough at-bats to where he can kind of knock off some of that rust, and hopefully that timing comes back sooner rather than later and he gets in a comfortable place as we head into the final week and into October,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game.
Luke Voit hit a two-run double that capped a five-run first inning against Marco Estrada (7-12), who tied a career worst by allowing eight runs and lasted just 2 2/3 innings.
Andrew McCutchen hit his third home run since the Yankees acquired him from San Francisco on Aug. 31 for outfield depth while Judge remains out. McCutchen doubled leading off the first and scored New York’s first run and also singled and walked twice. To make room for Judge, he shifted to left for the first time since 2009 at Triple-A.
Didi Gregorius also homered for the Yankees.
Toronto lost its fourth straight game and at 65-82 ensured consecutive losing seasons for first time since 2012-13.
Estrada also allowed eight runs for Milwaukee against St. Louis on May 5, 2013, and at Boston last Sept. 27. Missing high in the strike zone, he fell behind when Aaron Hicks hit a run-scoring single, Didi Gregorius had an RBI groundout and Gleyber Torres singled in a run.
Brett Gardner’s RBI single chased Estrada. Giancarlo Stanton, coming off a 4-for-34 (.118) trip, hit a two-run single off Taylor Guerrieri for an 8-0 lead.
Tigers 5, Indians 4
CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller gave up two RBI doubles in the seventh inning as Cleveland’s march to the AL Central title was slowed by Detroit.
Miller, making his third appearance since coming off the disabled list, relieved Adam Cimber (0-2) in the seventh, but couldn’t stop the Tigers from snapping a 2-2 tie and ending a 10-game losing streak at Progressive Field.
Jeimer Candelario, who homered in the first, doubled home one run and Victor Martinez also doubled off Miller. Josh Donaldson homered and went 2 for 4 in his home debut for Cleveland, and Edwin Encarnacion connected for his 31st homer. Drew VerHagen (3-2) got two outs in the sixth and Greene worked a shaky ninth for his 29th save.
Athletics 2, Rays 1, 10 innings
ST .PETERSBURG, Fla. — Khris Davis led off the 10th inning with his major league-leading 42nd homer, and Oakland beat Tampa Bay.
Oakland extended its lead for the second AL wild card to nine games over the Rays. The A’s remained 1 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the first wild card.
Davis’ drive to center off Jaime Schultz (2-1) was his 40th this season as a designated hitter. He joins David Ortiz has the only DHs to have 40 or more homers.
Blake Treinen (7-2) went two scoreless innings for the win. Sergio Romo retired all three batters in the ninth in his second appearance for the Rays since Aug. 25.
White Sox 8, Orioles 6
BALTIMORE — James Shields picked up his first road victory since opening day and Chicago beat Baltimore on a soggy night.
Ryan Cordell got his first career hit with a homer in the eighth that provided a key insurance run. Omar Narvaez and Avisail Garcia also homered for the White Sox.
Shields (7-16) leads the majors in losses. He allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings. He had gone winless in his 12 previous road appearances.
Jace Fry contained the Orioles down with a scoreless eighth, setting up Nate Jones to pick up his fifth save. uis Ortiz (0-1), obtained in the Jonathan Schoop trade with Milwaukee on July 31, made his first major league start for Baltimore and threw 1 2/3 innings before leaving with an apparent leg injury. Trey Mancini hit a two homers for the Orioles.
Phillies 14, Marlins 2
PHILADELPHIA — Aaron Altherr homered twice and drove in five runs in Philadelphia’s victory over Miami.
Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins and Mitch Walding also connected to help the Phillies snap a five-game losing streak. Zach Eflin (10-7) pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
J.T. Realmuto homered for Miami. Wei-Yin Chen (6-11) was the loser.
Mets 8, Red Sox 0
BOSTON — Noah Syndergaard pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and New York hit four homers to snap Boston’s four-game winning streak.
The Red Sox, who lead the majors with 101 victories, had their lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East reduced to 9 1/2 games. The only team in baseball to have already secured a playoff berth, Boston’s magic number to clinch its third straight division title remained at six.
Syndergaard (12-3) struck out six and walked three to lead the Mets to their fourth straight victory and sixth win in their last seven games.
Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer in the third, Austin Jackson hit a two-run shot in the eighth, and Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario had solo shots for New York.
Bruce also had a run-scoring double in the first against Red Sox emergency starter William Cuevas (0-1), who made his first major league start because Hector Velazquez got sick.