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Aaron Judge takes historic homer chase to Canada as Yankees battle Blue Jays

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New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge stands near first base after walking in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday at Yankee Stadium in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/bb9189765cf346686b217183310ce5a6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge stands near first base after walking in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday at Yankee Stadium in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Aaron Judge's historic chase to 61 home runs in 2022 will run north of the U.S. border as the New York Yankees start a three-game series Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto.

Judge tied Babe Ruth for No. 8 all-time on the single-season home run list with his 60th homer Tuesday, but went 4 for 15 with a single, three doubles, six walks, six strikeouts and no home runs in 21 plate appearances over his next five games.

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He went 2 for 11 in a weekend with a single, double five walks and five strikeouts in 16 plate appearances in last week's four-game series against the Boston Red Sox, missing a chance to tie Roger Maris' single-season franchise homers record while facing the Yankees' biggest rivals.

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Maris' record of 61 home runs, set Oct. 1, 1961, will turn 61 years old Saturday.

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"It's tough," Judge told reporters Sunday when asked about the difficulty of hitting home runs. "I think you can ask any hitter around the league. It's not easy.

"I think they kinda happen by accident. It really takes the right pitch and right situation. It's tough to describe. It just kinda happens."

The Yankees will face the Blue Jays in the first game of the series at 7:07 p.m. EDT Monday at Rogers Centre. The game will air on MLB.TV, YES and MLB Network.

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The second game of the series will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday and air on TBS. The series finale will air Wednesday on MLB.TV, YES and MLB Network.

Kevin Gausman is expected to start Monday for the Blue Jays, with Jose Berrios on Tuesday and Mitch White on Wednesday.

Gausman is 12-10 this season with a 3.32 ERA over 29 starts. Judge went 8 for 22 , with three singles, two doubles, three home runs, five walks and nine strikeouts in his previous 28 plate appearances against the right-handed pitcher.

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Gausman allowed at least one home run in four of his last five games. He allowed at least two home runs in three of those starts.

Judge went 8 for 20 with five singles, a double, two homers, two walks and two strikeouts in 23 plate appearances against Berrios. He hit his most recent homer against Berrios in April. Berrios allowed just three home runs over his last seven starts.

Judge went 2 for 2 with two singles in two plate appearances against White, who has a 6.02 ERA over his last 10 appearances, but allowed just two home runs over that stretch. He also hasn't allowed a home run in his last three appearances.

The Blue Jays have a 3.94 team ERA this season, but also allowed the third-most home runs (176) in the American League. Three of Judge's 60 home runs this season came against the Blue Jays.

Last week, Judge was on pace to end the season with 65 or 66 home runs,. which would tie or pass St. Louis Cardinals legend Mark McGwire for No. 4 all-time in the single-season record book.

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He is now on pace to hit four more home runs over his final 10 games, which would tie Chicago Cubs legend Sammy Sosa for the fifth-most in a single season.

"I enjoy the circus," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Sunday, when asked about the fanfare surrounding Judge during his home run chase.

"Of course, I want him to [tie Maris' record]. They are hard to come by, even for a guy who hits them a ton. It's not that easy. ... I just want him to continue to be in the place he is in and just handling this so well.

"He continues to go up there and have winning at-bats. With him, you feel like eventually that will come."

The Yankees will host the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series Friday through Sunday. They will end the season on the road with a four-game series against the Texas Rangers from Oct. 3 to 5 in Arlington, Texas.

N.Y. Yankees' Aaron Judge hits 62nd home run

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hits his 62nd home run of the season in the first inning, breaking the American League record and the record held by Roger Maris during game 2 of a double header against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on October 4, 2022. Photo by Matt Pearce/UPI | License Photo

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