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Judge ties DiMaggio's Yanks rookie HR record

Slugger belts 29th home run of season in finale vs. Blue Jays
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Move over, The Yankee Clipper. Here comes The Judge.

Aaron Judge belted his Major League-leading 29th home run in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays, matching a Yankees rookie franchise record set in 1936 by Joe DiMaggio (29).

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NEW YORK -- Move over, The Yankee Clipper. Here comes The Judge.

Aaron Judge belted his Major League-leading 29th home run in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays, matching a Yankees rookie franchise record set in 1936 by Joe DiMaggio (29).

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"It's incredible," Judge said. "Any time you're in the same sentence with somebody like DiMaggio, it's pretty incredible. It's quite an honor."

Video: TOR@NYY: Judge discusses tying DiMaggio's HR record

Judge and DiMaggio were born 57 miles apart; Judge in Linden, Calif., and DiMaggio in Martinez, Calif. Judge's two-run blast to the bullpen in right-center field was his second home run in as many days, trimming Toronto's lead to 5-2 at the time.

The right-handed slugger went to the opposite field with a 92.1-mph fastball from Marco Estrada, coming off his bat at 108.2 mph with a launch degree of 36 degrees. The drive traveled a Statcast-calculated 398 feet.

"He's a strong kid," Estrada said. "I thought he popped it up, to be honest with you, and it just kept going."

As Judge prepares to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, the only rookie in Major League history with more home runs prior to an All-Star break was Mark McGwire, who had 33 homers at the break for the 1987 Athletics.

Judge seemed to be more impressed by first baseman Ji-Man Choi, who made his Yankees debut on Wednesday and slugged a two-run homer in the fifth inning that flew 457 feet, according to Statcast™.

Video: TOR@NYY: Choi hits a long two-run homer to right

"That was awesome. You see how far he hit that ball?" Judge said. "That was incredible. He had some good at-bats, he was battling and he just kept putting the ball in play. There's nothing more you can ask for."

The 25-year-old Judge played a key role in the rest of the game. In the seventh, Brett Gardner tried for a bunt single and wound up with a sacrifice that left first base open, with the Blue Jays electing to intentionally walk Judge.

A promising rally fizzled, as Danny Barnes struck out Gary Sanchez and got Didi Gregorius to fly out to right field.

"I'm thinking about what I'm going to do that at-bat, thinking about what he's going to try to do to me and what my approach is going to be," Judge said. "I'm not thinking about intentional walks."

Down a run in the ninth, Gardner's two-out single brought Judge up as the potential winning run. On a 2-2 count, Roberto Osuna snapped off an 87.9-mph slider that Judge waved at, sealing the Yanks' 16th loss in 22 games.

"That's the moment you want to be up," Judge said. "A runner on, a chance to win the ballgame. That's what you dream of. I just wasn't able to come up and get the job done."

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

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge