TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge homered twice, including a season-long 462-foot drive over the center field batter’s eye three pitches after manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing a called strike to the slugger, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 Monday night.
Judge hit a pair of solo homers, putting the Yankees ahead in the first inning with an opposite-field shot to right against Alek Manoah (1-4) and extending New York’s lead to seven in the eighth with a 114.9 mph scorcher off Jay Jackson.
“I let out a pretty good scream,” Boone said of his reaction to Judge’s second homer. “That was good to see him really stick one like that.”
Judge had three RBIs and reached base five times, raising his season home run total to 10 with his third multihomer game this year and the 30th of his career. He walked three times, including once with the bases loaded.
Judge had entered 1 for 19 against Manoah with seven strikeouts.
Boone was ejected for arguing a 1-1 slider below the zone that was called a strike by plate umpire Clint Vondrak. Boone came out of the dugout to vent at Vondrak and crew chief James Hoye.
“Obviously I thought he missed that, but I was more fired up from the whole game,” Boone said, adding that he told Vondrak that Toronto’s dugout also was complaining about him.
Toronto’s broadcasters noticed Judge peeking into his own dugout before his eighth-inning homer and speculated he was looking for some kind of signal.
“It’s kind of odd that a hitter would be looking in that direction,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.
Judge said he was trying to see which of his teammates was yelling at Vondrak.
“There was kind of a lot of chirping from our dugout, which I really didn’t like in the situation,” Judge said.
“I feel like after the manager does his thing it’s like, “Fellas, our pitcher has still got to go out there and make some pitches. We’ve got the lead, let’s just go to work here,’” Judge added. “I said a couple of things to some guys in the dugout and especially after the game. Hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Willie Calhoun hit a two-run homer in the first, and Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Higashioka each drove in a run as New York won for the sixth time in eight games. The Yankees have hit a big league-high 29 homers in 14 games this month.
“The last week or so we’ve been clicking as an offense,” Calhoun said.
Right-hander Jimmy Cordero opened with two perfect innings and rookie Jhony Brito (3-3), another righty, followed and took a shutout into the eighth.
“He gave us just what we needed,” Boone said of Brito.
Matt Chapman doubled off Brito to begin the eighth and scored on Whit Merrifield’s single.
Brandon Belt reached on second baseman Gleyber Torres’ error and, one out later, Kevin Kiermaier chased Brito with a single.
George Springer’s grounder off Ian Hamilton drove in a run. Bo Bichette hit a run-scoring single and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. followed with an RBI double — the ball hit his bat twice — as Toronto closed to 7-4.
Michael King retired Daulton Varsho on an inning-ending grounder and got three straight groundouts in the ninth for his third save in as many chances.
Manoah lost his fourth straight decision, walking a career-high seven in four-plus innings and allowing five runs and six hits.
“This game will punch you right in the mouth,” Manoah said. “My job is to show up every day and give this team a chance.”
Manoah has failed to complete five innings five times in nine starts this season. He worked five or more innings in all 32 starts last year.
Yankees: RHP Carlos Rodón (forearm) threw Monday, his third session in four days. He has been bothered by a sore back and had a cortisone shot last week. Boone said a second shot has been scheduled but may not be needed.
Manoah threw 48 balls and 44 strikes. He walked five of his final eight batters.
“He needs to flip the script a little bit here and get in the zone,” Schneider said.
Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Josh Allen, Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley took batting practice before the game. Allen cleared the outfield wall four times in his session, reaching the second deck twice, but finished second in the BP home run derby to Barkley, who hit five.
RHP Domingo Germán (2-3, 4.00) starts for New York on Tuesday and RHP Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.38) goes for the Blue Jays. Gausman pitched seven shutout innings at Yankee Stadium on April 23.
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