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Judge continues torment of O's with moonshot

Yankees outfielder crushes No. 16, has hit safely in all 5 games vs. Orioles this season
MLB.com @BryanHoch

BALTIMORE -- There came a point late last season when the Orioles simply refused to pitch to Aaron Judge, with manager Buck Showalter holding up four fingers to intentionally walk the slugger, even though it would bring the potential winning run to home plate. It may not be the last time.

Judge continued to attack Orioles pitching on Friday, blasting a seventh-inning homer off Tanner Scott that provided the final run in the Yankees' 4-1 victory at Camden Yards. The 438-foot drive to left field was Judge's team-leading 16th of the season and the 13th of his career against Baltimore, Judge's most against any opponent.

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BALTIMORE -- There came a point late last season when the Orioles simply refused to pitch to Aaron Judge, with manager Buck Showalter holding up four fingers to intentionally walk the slugger, even though it would bring the potential winning run to home plate. It may not be the last time.

Judge continued to attack Orioles pitching on Friday, blasting a seventh-inning homer off Tanner Scott that provided the final run in the Yankees' 4-1 victory at Camden Yards. The 438-foot drive to left field was Judge's team-leading 16th of the season and the 13th of his career against Baltimore, Judge's most against any opponent.

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"It's a great ballpark to hit in. It's a really good hitter's park, especially to left-center and right-center," Judge said. "I just try to keep it simple, especially when I come to parks like this. I don't try to do too much. I try to keep it simple, stick with my approach and try to barrel up some."

As he made the celebratory rounds in the third-base dugout, Judge slapped hands with Domingo German and Luis Severino, then kept his right hand raised as he skipped for a phantom high-five. Judge said the absent recipient was popular utilityman Ronald Torreyes, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 25.

Video: NYY@BAL: Judge cranks his 16th homer to left field

"Oh yeah; I've been doing that for a while now," Judge said. "I've been giving him a high-five a couple of times; after I score or anything."

Judge has hit safely in all five games against the O's this season, coming off a campaign in which he batted an otherworldly .426/.588/1.049 with five doubles, 11 homers, 24 RBIs and 31 runs scored against Baltimore hurlers.

That bombardment prompted Showalter to instruct closer Zach Britton to give Judge a free pass to first base in a Sept. 17 game at Yankee Stadium, even though it would bring Gary Sanchez to the plate with a chance to win the game.

Showalter's gamble defied conventional logic, but it did work, as Britton retired Sanchez to seal a 6-4 Baltimore win that day.

Video: BAL@NYY: Britton fans Sanchez to earn four-out save

Perhaps going against the grain is the Orioles' only hope to silence Judge, who is a .343 (34-for-99) hitter against Baltimore.

"I usually don't try to look at that kind of stuff because it starts getting in my head a little bit," Judge said. "I try to take it one day at a time."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge