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Judge helps Yankees hammer Jays 6-0; Toronto waits another day to clinch playoff spot

Aaron Judge hit a pair of two-run homers as the New York Yankees rolled past the Blue Jays 6-0 on Wednesday, forcing Toronto to wait at least another day to clinch a playoff spot.

Giancarlo Stanton's two-run single in the fifth inning also helped New York (81-77) win its third straight.

Gerrit Cole (15-4) put the finishing touches on his Cy Young Award resume with a commanding two-hit complete game shutout. He didn't give up a run or a walk in his last start of the season.

Jose Berrios (11-12) struck out 10, but allowed four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings.

Relievers Trevor Richards, Genesis Cabrera, and Jay Jackson followed Berrios to the mound as Toronto (87-71) missed another opportunity to close in on a playoff berth.

The Blue Jays hold the American League's second wild card spot, with only the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in position to catch them.

The loss left Toronto a game ahead of the Astros in the wild-card race and 1 1/2 ahead of Seattle. The Mariners hosted Houston later Wednesday.

Cole is the odds-on favourite to win the Cy Young as the American League's best pitcher, according to most major online sportsbooks.

He finished his season with an AL-best 2.63 earned-run average, 209 innings pitched, 222 strikeouts, and league-leading 24 quality starts.

Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman has the fourth-best odds of winning the Cy Young, behind Seattle's Luis Castillo and Minnesota's Sonny Gray.

Although Cole is a Cy Young candidate, Berrios was also dealing in the early innings Wednesday. He earned three strikeouts on 12 pitches in the second, including ringing up Anthony Volpe on just three pitches.

Berrios walked DJ LeMahieu to allow his first baserunner of the game to lead off the fourth inning.

Judge immediately capitalized, crushing the first pitch he saw in the next at bat. J

Judge's 36th homer of the year flew 395 feet with an exit velocity of 112.3 m.p.h., landing in the visitors' bullpen.

New York piled on in the fifth.

Berrios struck out two Yankees but gave up a hit to Ben Rortvedt to start the inning.

He then intentionally walked Judge and threw Gleyber Torres four balls. Stanton's sharply hit line drive to left field scored Rortvedt and Judge for a 4-0 New York lead.

Judge continued to menace Toronto in seventh, launching his second two-run homer of the night to the second deck at Rogers Centre.

That home run flew 424 feet with an exit velocity of 112.7 m.p.h., scoring Oswald Peraza for a 6-0 New York lead.

It was the seventh multi-homer game this season for the Yankees captain.

RAPTORS AND LEAFS IN THE DOME - Toronto Maple Leafs stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Morgan Rielly took batting practice with the Blue Jays before the game. Toronto Raptors first-round draft pick Gradey Dick then threw out the opening pitch.

REJIGGED LINEUP - Designated hitter Brandon Belt was Toronto's clean-up hitter Wednesday, a day after he was sixth in the lineup. Second baseman Cavan Biggio moved down to fifth in the order and third baseman Matt Chapman dropped from fifth to seventh.

ON DECK - Chris Bassitt (15-8) will start for Toronto in the finale of the three-game series with New York.

Luke Weaver (3-5) is scheduled for the Yankees.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2023. Top Stories

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