By Terrance Turner
May 10, 2022
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees rallied for a comeback win, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 tonight in the Bronx. The Yankees have won 14 of 16 after the latest victory, according to the New York Post.
Former Houston Astros outfielder George Springer hit a leadoff homer for Toronto. Santiago Espinal had an early two-run double as Toronto took a 3-0 lead. pitcher Yusei Kikuchi pitched five scoreless innings for the Blue Jays, but Yankees’ right fielder Giancarlo Stanton smashed a 335-foot home run in the sixth inning to tie the game.
Relief pitcher Yimi Garcia took over for Kikuchi after that homer. According to ESPN, “That’s when the fireworks really started. García hit the next batter, Josh Donaldson, just around the left elbow pad with a 94 mph fastball on an 0-1 count.” Players on the New York bench didn’t like it — Aaron Judge nearly hopped over the railing to take up for his teammate — but Donaldson calmly went to first base and the umpires convened on the infield grass.
‘”After a long discussion, crew chief Alfonso Marquez ejected Garcia, enraging the pitcher and several Blue Jays who came spilling out of the dugout. After the heated exchange, Marquez then tossed pitching coach Pete Walker as well. And when Yankees reliever Jonathan Loáisiga brushed back Bo Bichette with a 97 mph fastball in the seventh, plate umpire Lance Barrett heard something from the Blue Jays bench and ejected flabbergasted manager Charlie Montoyo.
Toronto regained its composure and put together a two-run rally in the eighth. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drew a leadoff walk from Loáisiga and raced all the way home from first with a headfirst slide on Gurriel’s line-drive double to left field off Chad Green.” Toronto took a 5-3 lead.
But they had galvanized the New York Yankees. Rallying around their teammate Garcia, they fought back. “When Josh got hit I think that kinda locked all of us in,” Judge later said. “We said, ‘OK, you know, it’s go time.’ Especially me.” He added: “When something like that happens, it’s like, ‘OK, we gotta go out and win this one’.”
In the ninth inning, pitcher Jordan Romano faced Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge. (Yankees catcher Jose Trevino was on first base; DJ LeMahieu was on second.) The first pitch was a slider for a strike. Another slider led to strike two. Judge swung at a fastball, hitting it foul. Then, after another foul, he finally connected. Judge smashed a massive 450-foot three-run homer — the first walk-off home run of his career.
Judge later credited his teammates for the home run smash. “DJ worked another great at-bat — you know, he’s probably one of the best closers in the game — and gave me a shot to try to do something, and it kinda worked out,” Judge said after the game. (That’s a major understatement: he now leads the league in homers.)
This is the 10th home run of the season for Aaron Judge, making him the first MLB player this year to reach double-digits. But Judge didn’t know if he would hit that home run. “I was a little nervous. I hit a couple balls good, and they can’t get out. But, you know, I was trying to put a good swing on it,” Judge said after the game. “Is there a better feeling than a walk-off here at Yankee stadium?” asked interviewer Meredith Marakovitz.
“I mean, this is pretty sweet right here,” Judge replied, as the fans at Yankee Stadium erupted in cheers.