TORONTO (AP) — Accused by Toronto of cheating, Aaron Judge not only responded with a tiebreaking, two-run homer, he actually broke a maple leaf.
Judge’s eighth-inning homer, which chipped the corner off a sign attached to a wall in the Rogers Centre’s center field party deck, lifted the New York Yankees to a contentious 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night after pitcher Domingo Germán was ejected for sticky stuff.
Judge was booed while striking out in his first two at-bats following allegations of sign stealing Monday, when he hit a pair of solo homers in a 7-4 win. The second, a 462-foot drive in the eighth inning off Jay Jackson, came after Judge glanced into the Yankees dugout. Toronto’s broadcasters speculated he was looking for some kind of signal, and Toronto manager John Schneider called Judge’s look “kind of odd.”
With the score 3-3 Tuesday, Judge stared straight ahead at Erik Swanson (2-2), eyes never moving. His 448-foot drive broke part of a white maple leaf sign — Canada’s national symbol. It’s the logo for Canada’s West Jet airline, sponsor of the center field bar area.
“I haven’t seen that yet,” Judge said. “I had a text message about that, so we’ll have to take a look at that.”
Judge has five homers in his last four games, raising his season total to 11 homers with 26 RBIs. his deep drives have done some mild damage before, too.
“I think I might have got a TV at Yankee Stadium but that was a long time ago,” Judge said.
Asked whether he was sent a bill, Judge laughed: “I think they actually sent me a TV for doing it, so quite the opposite.”
His 31 homers tied Jorge Posada for most with the Yankees against the Blue Jays — Judge has faced them 100 times, Posada 186.
Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, who also homered for the Yankees.
After Judge struck out 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 went to the outfield end of the dugout, yelling and gesturing at Rojas, a former Mets manager.
Boone said he found the arguments over coach positioning to be “tired.”
“It’s just silliness,” Boone said. “It’s ridiculous and I think everyone, I hope on both sides, realizes it.”
Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was removed from the game after eight innings because of a sore right knee. He appeared to hurt himself while fielding Gleyber Torres’ popped bunt in the top half.
Manager John Schneider said Guerrero will undergo an MRI.
Germán was ejected after he walked to the mound to start the bottom of the fourth and umpires checked his hands for banned sticky stuff.
“I’ve got to apologize to my teammates and my team,” Germán said. “I’m putting them in a tough position right now.”
Germán’s ejection, likely to trigger a 10-game suspension, was the fourth since Major League Baseball started its crackdown on prohibited grip aids two years ago and the second this season.
“Not ideal, but nothing has been ideal about the start of this season,” Boone said.
Germán retired his first nine batters when his hands were examined by first base umpire D.J. Reyburn as the pitcher headed to the mound for the bottom of the fourth. Other umpires came over along with Boone, and Germán was ejected by crew chief James Hoye, who was working the plate.
“The instant I looked at his hand, it was extremely shiny and extremely sticky,” Hoye told a pool reporter. “It’s the stickiest hand I’ve ever felt. My fingers had a hard time coming off his palm.”
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 rosin off his hand and some had remained on the pitcher’s pinkie finger.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer was suspended for sticky stuff on April 20, and Seattle’s Héctor Santiago and Arizona’s Caleb Smith were suspended in 2021.
Germán was replaced by Ian Hamilton, who was removed after five batters and 27 pitches because of right groin tightness.
Ryan Weber (1-0) allowed three hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his first Yankees decision.
Wandy Peralta, the sixth Yankees pitcher, got Santiago Espinal — batting in Guerrero’s slot — to ground into a game-ending double play with two on for his third save.
Torres had two hits and two RBIs. Torres and Harrison Bader each drove in a run in the third and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s first homer this season increased the lead to 3-0 in the fifth.
Toronto tied it with four straight two-out hits in the fifth. Kevin Kiermaier homered, Bo Bichette hit an RBI double and Guerrero chased Ron Marinaccio with an RBI single.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) allowed two runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Double-A Somerset. He walked one and struck out three.
K IS FOR KEVIN
Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman struck out 10 in seven innings. Gausman’s 77 strikeouts lead the AL.
RHP Gerrit Cole (5-0, 2.22) starts for the Yankees on Wednesday against Blue Jays RHP Chris Bassitt (5-2, 3.49).
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