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The Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees turned the AL wild-card game Tuesday night into a Home Run Derby, so it was only a matter of time before the reigning king of home run derbies got involved.
Aaron Judge, welcome to the postseason.
Judge, the towering Yankees rookie slugger, hit his first career postseason homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. It goes along with the 52 he hit during the regular season, setting MLB’s rookie record. And it was pretty great timing for the Yankees, who took a 7-4 lead on Judge’s two-run blast and eventually won the game 8-4 to advance to the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.
As you’ll see, this one was a missile that left the bat at 108 mph:
Afterward, Judge got the new Yankees tradition: A faux interview in the dugout.
Many people figured Judge’s big bat would play a part in the Twins-Yankees do-or-die playoff game, but not many people anticipated what would precede it. The Twins scored three runs in the first inning on two homers. The Yankees tied it in the first inning with a homer of their own by Didi Gregorius.
Brett Gardner then homered in the second inning to give the Yankees the lead. The Twins tied it up the following inning. The Yankees went ahead 5-4 in the third inning on a Greg Bird single and then Judge gave the Yankees a commanding lead with his homer. New York would scratch across another run in the seventh, winning the game 8-4.
Just how Yankees manager Joe Girardi drew it up before the game, right?
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