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Aaron Judge strikes again as New York Yankees rally past Toronto Blue Jays

By Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 13th home run and scored the tying run in the seventh inning as the New York Yankees rallied from an early four-run deficit and posted an 8-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Judge had his first career three-hit game with a single in the first, a two-run homer in the third and a single in the seventh when the Yankees scored three times off Joe Biagini (0-1).

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Judge started the rally in the seventh with a single to left field and took third on a double down the right field line by Chase Headley. The Blue Jays brought their infield in and the Yankees capitalized when Chris Carter blooped a broken-bat single over shortstop Ryan Goins' head into short left field.

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Pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius then followed with a ground ball that went off Biagini's glove, allowing him to just beat the throw. The play was upheld after a brief replay review and the Yankees added a final run on a bases-loaded walk by Aaron Hicks.

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New York's rally occurred after manager Joe Girardi was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke. Girardi contested a called strike one call to Starlin Castro and was quickly tossed after coming out of the dugout.

Matt Holliday also hit a three-run homer as New York won for the 16th time in 21 games.

Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer and Justin Smoak added an RBI single off CC Sabathia in the first inning. The Blue Jays scored their other runs on a bases-loaded walk by Russell Martin and a groundout by Kendrys Morales.

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After Sabathia allowed six runs and seven hits in four-plus innings, four relievers combined on five scoreless innings. Dellin Betances (3-1) recorded four outs for the win and Aroldis Chapman posted his sixth save.

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Toronto's Marcus Stroman allowed five runs and six hits in three innings.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead on a single by Smoak with two outs in the first inning. On the next pitch, Pearce blasted a fastball into the left-center field seats for his third home run of the season.

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The 4-0 lead barely lasted as Stroman allowed a single by Brett Gardner and walked Hicks before Holliday drove a 2-2 fastball over the center field wall. The Yankees had a chance to tie when Judge singled, but was caught stealing second.

Toronto took a 5-3 lead on a walk by Martin and went up 6-3 when Morales hit a ground ball to first baseman Carter, who got the force at second as Ryan Goins scored.

The Yankees made it a one-run game again when Judge sent a 2-0 fastball into the netting above Monument Park beyond the center field wall with none out in the third.

NOTES: C Gary Sanchez (biceps) went 1-for-4 in his second rehab game with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. He will be re-evaluated after his third rehab game Thursday and could be activated Friday. ... Toronto RHP Mat Latos was away from the team because of a personal matter. He is expected to make his next scheduled start Sunday in Tampa Bay. ... New York C Austin Romine (groin) and CF Jacoby Ellsbury (left elbow) did not play, though both are feeling better. ... The Blue Jays released C Jarrod Saltalamacchia after designating him for assignment Friday.

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