Judge slugs 25th, Kahnle stumbles after clincher

Happ solid over 5 1/3 innings after treatment for biceps tendinitis

September 21st, 2019

NEW YORK -- reared back for a fastball that missed its intended location, then watched crush the offering into the right-field bleachers. The hurler then reached for the rosin bag, furiously spiking it on the back of the mound.

One night after gleefully celebrating the Yankees' clinch of the American League East with a boozy slip-and-slide tumble across the clubhouse, Kahnle trudged to the dugout having served up what would prove to be the deciding homer in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Smoak's go-ahead blast overshadowed a pair of Yankees homers from and , as Judge became the club's fifth player to reach the 25-homer plateau this season with a fourth-inning shot off starter Jacob Waguespack.

Wade bolstered his case for a spot on the postseason roster with a long two-run shot in the fifth, his second homer of the year. Wade's speed and defensive versatility figure to make him an appealing bench player for the upcoming American League Division Series.

"He's made a number of plays in the outfield that I think have been impressive," Boone said. "He's been having some good at-bats. Obviously the home run tonight to give us the lead there was huge. He's done a really nice job."

Wade's blast gave the Yankees a Major League-leading 294 home runs for the season. The Twins opened the evening with 293.

One start after seeking treatment for left biceps tendinitis, Yankees starter pitched well in a no-decision, limiting Toronto to two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings.

"I felt better coming into this game, and stronger for sure," Happ said. "Maybe [it was] a little benefit of having the extra day or two and doing a few things between starts here to try to help that. I felt a little more freedom and some more life on my fastball today."

Danny Jansen slugged a fifth-inning homer off Happ, the team-leading 34th surrendered by the left-hander this season.

"Toronto had some really good at-bats against him and hit quite a few balls hard against him," Boone said. "His line was pretty good, only giving up two runs. I thought he threw the ball really well."

Fingers crossed
The Yanks' home run leader with 38, gave his club a scare in the fourth inning when his right leg appeared to buckle while fielding Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s infield hit. Torres popped back up quickly, telling Boone and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue that he could keep playing.

"We were going to get him [out of the game] just by his reaction," Boone said. "But we got out there and he was like, 'I was more scared rolling in the hole.' I said, 'Are you fine?' He said, 'Oh yeah, I'm fine.'"

That lasted until the seventh inning, when Torres was removed for precautionary reasons. Boone said Torres reported weakness in both legs after striking out in the sixth inning. Torres is expected to be evaluated by the Yankees' medical personnel.

"I don't know if it's a little wet out there or beat up out there," Happ said. "Hopefully everything is going to be all right. It's a bummer that happened. Tough to see. Hopefully they made the right decision and he'll be all right."

Voices heard
Gardner and Boone griped about a 3-1 pitch from Ken Giles in the ninth inning that appeared to be outside but was ruled a strike by home plate umpire Joe West. Gardner fouled off the next pitch, then skied a fly ball to center field for the second out of the inning.

"I think I reacted how you'd expect me to react," Gardner said. "I have a good idea of where the ball is in the strike zone. To be honest, if the ball is half that far outside off the plate, I still would've walked to first base. I just wasn't happy about it."

Pinch-hitter Mike Ford struck out for the final out against Giles, who logged his 21st save.

"It's a big spot," Gardner said. "[With a walk], we've got a baserunner against a guy who we've got a decent chance to steal second base against. The call didn't go in our favor."