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Judge showing signs of pulling out of slump

Rookie has a big RBI single and walk in win over Seattle
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Aaron Judge might be going through a tough stretch at the plate, but you could hardly tell in the Yankees 4-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Thursday.

Judge was still sporting a smile and even played catch warming up in the outfield with a child who was sitting in the front row of right field in the middle of the ninth inning.

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SEATTLE -- Aaron Judge might be going through a tough stretch at the plate, but you could hardly tell in the Yankees 4-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Thursday.

Judge was still sporting a smile and even played catch warming up in the outfield with a child who was sitting in the front row of right field in the middle of the ninth inning.

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And while there were some rough moments -- Judge struck out looking twice at the hands of Mariners starter Felix Hernandez -- he had a broken-bat single to right field with the bases loaded in the eighth inning that knocked in a run and added a walk in the victory.

It was a sign of progress for the slumping Judge, who entered Thursday's game 3-for-26 with no extra-base hits since the All-Star break.

"He's had some hits lately, some RBIs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think he's getting close to being back on track."

And the Yankees will need their offensive centerpiece to continue mashing in order to retain the American League's final Wild Card spot. Their Yankees' offensive production has dipped from 5.6 runs per game to 4.3 runs in a 10-22 stretch entering Thursday's game.

Video: NYY@SEA: Judge has a catch with fan at Safeco Field

Call it a slump or whatever you want, but as far as Judge is concerned, he's not panicking.

"The best way to describe it is: That's baseball," Judge said. "Sometimes you can't get out. Sometimes you go up there and feel like you're trying to hit a golf ball. It's just part of it. The best thing about it is you just have to work through it. There's nothing you can really do, [but] keep trusting the process and work through it.

"That's just baseball, the crazy game we play."

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Yankees on Thursday.

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge