Tuesday, March 28, 2023
HomeAmerican LeagueYankees lose 3-2 on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s walk-off single

Yankees lose 3-2 on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s walk-off single

TORONTO — Aaron Judge went to the plate at the top of 10th with two outs and two ons to put an end to all Monday night.

With a good swing, the Yankees slugger could give the Bombers their first American League East title since 2019. With a really, really good swing, he could make history. He waited patiently while the Blue Jays changed aides. He studied in a circle on deck while Tim Mayza warmed up.

The judge went back to the plate just as the crowd started going mad. And Blue Jays manager John Schneider held up four fingers. The Yankees and Judge would have to wait another day. Clarke Schmidt gave a walk-off line drive single to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the Blue Jays rallied to beat the Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings to 34.307 at Rogers Center.

“A game on the line? That’s where you want to hit. So I did all the work to put myself in a position to go out and help the team and I would win right there,” Judge said. “But I trust every single man in our lineup and every single man on our bench and especially the guys behind me, Anthony Rizzo, day in, day out, all through this season, has always come up with big points but today we didn’t done it.

“We just have to show up tomorrow and get it done.”

The loss resulted in a seven-game winning streak for the Yankees (94-59) and delayed what the team believes was inevitable. The Bombers came into play with a magic number of two, meaning they need a win in that three-game streak to make the American League East and finish second in the American League playoffs. The Blue Jays (87-67) dropped their magic number to grab a playoff spot in third.

For the sixth straight game, Judge did not hit a home run. He stays at 60 in the regular season, just a step behind the American League single-season and Yankee franchise record set by Roger Maris in 1961.

The judge is 5-for-18 with eight walks since his last home run, No. 60, which came almost a week ago. His longest home run drought this season is nine games.

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He doesn’t get much hitting at the moment.

“I know no pitcher wants to be the one who gives up #61,” said starter Luis Severino. “So they set it up carefully.”

In the first inning, the judge saw four pitches, one single in right field. In the end, he scored the Yankees’ first run with Gleyber Torres’ sacrificial fly. In his second at-bat, Judge worked on a six-pitch walk. In the sixth inning, Kevin Gausman caught Judge looking at an 85-mile slider. In the eighth round, Yimi Garcia fell 3-1 behind Judge but got him batting on a 91-mile slider that was low and distant.

In the top of the 10th, after the Blue Jays deliberately led Judge to load the bases, Mayza got Rizzo to ground himself to take out the threat.

In his second start back since being put off the injured list, Severino was able to increase his pitch count to 76 pitches. He probably could have gone deeper into the game, but a shaky defense behind him shortened his outing.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit his fourth home run of the season in the second inning. The 404-foot shot to left centerfield was the 10th home run hit by the Yankees since Judge hit his last on Sept. 20. He also gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. At the end of the fourth, the Yankees shortstop helped return it right. With Bo Bichette first, he let a hard-hit ground ball from Guerrero Jr. eat him up. Severino went to Alejandro Kirk and then Teoscar Hernandez hit one from the midfield wall. While admiring that, Judge fired the rebound at Kiner-Falefa. Hernandez made a late start from the box after a slow walk and a bat flip, giving the Yankees a chance to put him on second base. But Kiner-Falefa shot home, failing to beat the second runner.

Severino was tasked with these two runs. He finished the outing with three walks and hits apiece in four innings of work.

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