Judge’s HR breaks maple leaf, lifts Yankees over Blue Jays in drama-filled game

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Aaron Judge’s tie-breaking two-run homer broke a large Maple Leaf attached to the front of the Rogers Center restaurant, lifting the New York Yankees to a controversial 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night after pitcher Domingo Germán was ejected for sticky things.

Aaron Judge of the Yankees hits a two-run homer in the eighth against the Blue Jays

Aaron Judge of the Yankees hits a two-run homer in the eighth against the Blue Jays

Judge was booed as he struck out in his first two at-bats following the plate-stealing accusations on Monday, when he hit a pair of solo homers in a 7-4 victory. The second, a 462-foot drive in the eighth inning off Jay Jackson, came after Judge looked into the Yankees bullpen. Toronto broadcasters speculated that he was looking for some kind of sign, and Toronto coach John Schneider called Judge’s appearance “a little weird.”

With the score tied 3-3 in the eighth inning Tuesday, Judge looked straight at Erik Swanson, eyes never moving. Its 448-foot run to center broke off a corner of a white maple leaf between “WESTJET” and “FLIGHTDECK” under the windows of a redesigned social area that opened this year as part of the renovation of the stadium.

Judge has five homers in his last four games, increasing his season total to 11 homers.

After Judge singled in the third inning, there was a brief shouting match between Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker and Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas. Walker made his way to the outfield end of the dugout, yelling and gesturing to Rojas, a former Mets manager.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was pulled from the game after eight innings. He appeared to hurt his leg while playing Gleyber Torres’ touch in the top half.

Germán was ejected after he walked to the mound to start the bottom of the fourth and the umpires checked his hands for prohibited sticky stuff. His ejection, which could result in a 10-game suspension, was the fourth since Major League Baseball began its crackdown on banned stick aids two years ago and the second this season.

Germán retired his first nine batters when his hands were examined by first base umpire DJ Reyburn as the pitcher headed to the mound for the bottom of the fourth. Other umpires came in along with Yankees manager Aaron Boone, and Germán was ejected by crew chief James Hoye, who was working the plate.

Hoye’s crew examined the 30-year-old right-hander during an April 15 start against Minnesota, when Germán retired his first 16 batters, but allowed him to stay in that game. Hoye had asked Germán to wash the rosin off his hand and some had remained on the pitcher’s little finger.

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer was suspended for sticky stuff on April 20, and Seattle’s Hector Santiago and Arizona’s Caleb Smith were suspended in 2021.

Germán was replaced by Ian Hamilton, who was removed after five at-bats and 27 pitches with a strained right groin.

Ryan Weber allowed three hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his first Yankees decision.

Wandy Peralta, the Yankees’ sixth pitcher, got Santiago Espinal, batting in the Guerrero slot, to ground into a double play that ended with two out in his third save.

Torres had two hits and two RBIs. Torres and Harrison Bader drove in a run in the third and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s first homer this season made it 3-0 in the fifth.

Toronto tied it with four consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth. Kevin Kiermaier homered, Bo Bichette hit an RBI double and Guerrero chased down Ron Marinaccio with an RBI single.

Report from The Associated Press.

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