Judge saves home run as Yankees survive - Taipei Times
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Judge saves home run as Yankees survive


Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees saves a Cleveland Indians home run in the sixth inning of Game 3 of their American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Good thing for Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees that Aaron Judge is 2.01m tall.

Judge reached high and prevented a home run to save Tanaka’s seven-inning gem and Greg Bird homered off relief ace Andrew Miller as New York edged the Cleveland Indians 1-0 in Game 3 on Sunday to extend their American League Division Series.

“He was brilliant,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Tanaka. “He gave us everything we needed.”

Aroldis Chapman got a five-out save as the wild-card Yankees avoided a three-game sweep by the defending American League champions.

With two on in the ninth, Chapman struck out cleanup hitter Jay Bruce before Carlos Santana flied out to end it.

New York got a splendid performance from Tanaka in an old-fashioned duel with Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco.

Tanaka received a big boost when Judge robbed Francisco Lindor of a two-run homer in the sixth.

Bird came through with the huge hit New York had to have when he connected against Miller leading off the seventh.

The first baseman was fired up as he greeted happy teammates in the dugout.

Sidelined by injuries most of the past two seasons, Bird also went deep in Game 2.

“I’m not ready to be done playing and I don’t think the rest of the team is,” Bird said.

New York rebounded after blowing a five-run lead during a 13-inning loss in Game 2 that led to heavy criticism of Girardi, booed on Sunday by the home crowd during pre-game introductions.

“Not the first time,” Girardi said, acknowledging it’s no fun to hear catcalls. “I kind of expected it.”

Judge’s great catch was the big defensive play of the game.

With a runner on first in a scoreless game, Lindor lofted a sixth-inning drive toward the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. Judge backed up to the wall and barely needed to jump to extend his glove above the fence and make the catch, just to the right of the auxiliary scoreboard.

“Who better to reach up there and grab it than him?” Bird said.

The sellout crowd of 48,614 roared and Judge flashed a bright smile.

It was the first time the rookie slugger had robbed an opponent of a home run and the first time Lindor had ever been so denied, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“I had to do something,” said Judge, who is none for 10 with eight strikeouts in the series. “I wasn’t obviously making any contact at the plate, so you’ve got to make an impact on the game somehow and luckily I was able to do it on defense.”

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