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Aaron Judge responds to 'cheating' claims with another monster HR in win vs. Blue Jays

TORONTO – Aaron Judge answered his critics and silenced much of the Rogers Centre crowd in Tuesday night’s eighth inning, belting a monstrous go-ahead home run.

In the wake of controversy over Monday night’s eighth inning homer, Judge left no doubt.

Batting with a runner at first base and one out against Toronto Blue Jays reliever Erik Swanson, the Yankees captain crushed an 0-1 slider an estimated 448 feet over the center field batter’s eye for a 5-3 Yankees lead.

The Yankees won it 6-3, taking the first two games of this four-game set against an AL East foe.

"It’s satisfying anytime you give your team a lead. Those swings are always nice,'' said Judge, whose blast caused some minor stadium damage, chipping off the top of a maple leaf from an advertising sign.

Did Judge and the Yankees play with an extra edge, following Monday night's controversy that spilled into Tuesday night, including bench jockeying and an in-game battle to keep base coaches inside their coaching lines, which Yankees manager Aaron Boone dismissed as "silliness?''

"I think we were just focused,'' said Judge. "We've got a job to do here against one of our division rivals that’s playing great baseball, they got a great lineup, great pitching staff. We got four games in their house (and it’s) a big task ahead of us.''

Another controversy developed as Yankees starter Domingo German was ejected after three innings, following an umpires check of his pitching hand.

That started a chain of relievers, with Ian Hamilton (tight groin) exiting and likely heading to the injured list, and Ryan Weber doing the heavy lifting ahead of Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta.

New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre.
New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre.

Serving as the Yankees’ designated hitter Tuesday, Judge shot his right hand high in the air as he rounded the bases on his go-ahead homer, a gesture directed toward the right field bullpen.

"Those guys were grinding all night. Giving them a little shout out,'' said Judge, praising the club's focus and resolve. "Overall, a great team win.''

One night earlier, Judge’s homer over the batter’s eye, toward the restaurant beyond the center field second deck, was the subject of post-game controversy.

TV cameras caught Judge glancing at the Yankees dugout at Rogers Centre, on the first base side, just before several of reliever Jay Jackson’s pitches.

Judge and the Yankees said the slugger was upset at chirping in his own dugout during the at-bat. The Blue Jays had deeper curiosity over the glances, specific to that at-bat, and Yankees base coaches positioned beyond their boundaries.

New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) watches his ball go over the center field wall for a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre.
New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) watches his ball go over the center field wall for a two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre.

“We’ve kind of made the league aware of that and hopefully it’s corrected tonight,’’ Jays manager John Schneider said before the game, adding that MLB officials were going to pay attention to it.

Umpires seemed to be enforcing that on both third base coaches on Tuesday night, one that developed into an argument with Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas.

“I think most of the people in the know, know that there’s nothing there,’’ Yanks manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “I’m sure that will be the prevailing wisdom as it unfolds.

“I understand the noise around it, but I think all of us in the game…understand that nothing’s going on here.’’

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Aaron Judge hits home run vs. Blue Jays amid 'cheating' claim