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Judge powers NY, but AL East title chase ends

September 30, 2017

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge eclipsed Babe Ruth's 96-year-old record for the most roundtrippers hit at home by a Yankees player, and Carsten Sabathia walked off to a standing ovation on Saturday at Yankee Stadium as New York defeated the Blue Jays, 2-1, in its penultimate game of the regular

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge eclipsed Babe Ruth's 96-year-old record for the most roundtrippers hit at home by a Yankees player, and Carsten Sabathia walked off to a standing ovation on Saturday at Yankee Stadium as New York defeated the Blue Jays, 2-1, in its penultimate game of the regular season.
Judge's 484-foot blast, according to Statcast™, off Marcus Stroman was his American League-leading 52nd homer and the rookie's 33rd in the Bronx this season. Ruth hit 32 home runs just across the Harlem River in 1921, when the Yankees still called the Polo Grounds home.
"It's incredible. I've never played for a team like this," Judge said. "Everyone gets along. We're always competing. We're always having fun. That's what championship teams are made of, so I'm excited for what's going to happen here in the postseason."
Making what could be his final regular-season start in pinstripes, Sabathia started in place of Jaime Garcia and blanked Toronto on four hits over 5 2/3 stellar innings, but the Red Sox defeated the Astros at Fenway Park to clinch their second straight AL East title.

"I feel pretty confident about where we're at right now and trying to make a good run at this thing," said Sabathia, who was undefeated in his final eight starts. "The goal was always to stay healthy and go out there and try to help the team win. I feel like I did a pretty good job of that."
CC does his part as Yanks get set for Twins
The Yankees now turn their attention to the AL Wild Card Game, which will be played on Tuesday night against the Twins in New York at 8 ET on ESPN.
"It's frustrating, because you know how well we've played in the last five or six weeks," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Again, I really like the way our club is playing. Let's play Tuesday and let's give it everything we've got."
Starlin Castro added a fourth-inning RBI single off Stroman, who finished his year with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts. Josh Donaldson lifted an eighth-inning sacrifice fly off Player Page for David Robertson that was knocked down by the wind. Albertin Chapman worked the ninth inning for his 22nd save.

"Those two runs held up and you don't ever expect that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "CC, I thought, threw the ball pretty good himself. The ball Josh hit with the bases loaded, I thought he hit that on the screws and the wind really knocked that thing down. On a normal day, who knows? Then they just shut us down."

All Rise: Judge entered this game 5-for-10 with a pair of home runs vs. Stroman and it didn't take long for his success to continue. In the fourth, Judge unloaded on a 2-0 fastball for a no-doubt solo shot over the wall in left. According to Statcast™, Judge's latest homer left his bat at 118.3 mph. Judge has two of the longest-tracked home runs this season. His longest was 495 feet, and his 484-foot blast comes fourth after Gary Sanchez (493 feet) and Joey Gallo (490 feet).
"The satisfaction came from getting a run on the board, especially against a tough pitcher like Stroman," Judge said. "It's tough to scratch runs across against him with the stuff that he has, so being able to get that first run on the board kind of got the offense going." More >

Sit down, Smoak: The Blue Jays cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the eighth on Donaldson's sacrifice fly. Justin Smoak then stepped to the plate with the potential tying run on second base, but Robertson escaped the jam by getting Smoak to swing and miss at an 85.4-mph curveball on a 1-2 count. Robertson entered with two runners on and nobody out but was able to limit the damage and put Chapman in line for the save.
"That was loud off the bat," Robertson said of Donaldson's drive. "I really thought he hit it out of the park, or it was definitely going to be close. I definitely think the wind helped me and I'm glad it was blowing in."

"That was the goal of mine when I got into the league. I know how hard it is and how rare it is becoming. … Seeing guys like [Mark] Buehrle do it year after year is extremely inspiring, and the fact that everyone, when I got into the big leagues, said I was too short to be a starting pitcher [and not durable enough] … I'm strong. I can go out there and throw another 100 innings if I really wanted to." -- Stroman, on surpassing 200 innings for the second consecutive yearMore >

Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins thought he had home run No. 10 on the season when he sent a shot to right field in the top of the sixth. The ball left the field of play, but first-base umpire Kerwin Danley immediately signaled fan interference and told Goins to stay at second. After a crew-chief review, the replays confirmed that a fan reached over the wall to catch the ball.

Blue Jays: Left-hander Brett Anderson (4-4, 6.97 ERA) will take the mound when the regular season comes to an end on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET. Anderson has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his six starts for the Blue Jays this season, and he's coming off a victory over the Red Sox.
Yankees: Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (9-7, 3.96 ERA) will make his final start of his rookie season when the Yankees and Blue Jays play the finale. Montgomery has won back-to-back starts, holding opponents to one run over his last 12 innings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.