Referee just under 61, Yanks grab the playoff berth

NEW YORK (Associated Press) – Aaron Judge turned a fastball in the ninth inning, and the noise of the 43,123 crowd at Yankee Stadium erupted, wondering, hoping he’d hit a 61st inning record at home and earn an accessory berth. With one strong swing.

Seconds later, groans arose in unison. Kiké Hernández made the catch a step in front of the fence, 404 feet from the board.

Judge stayed one shy of the MLS record set by New York’s Roger Maris in 1961. But the Yankees hit Goal #1: Josh Donaldson’s 10th RBI single gave them a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox and grabbed their sixth straight berth and 24th at 28 general.

“Great achievement. There was a lot of hard work over the course of the season to get to that point,” said Judge, who also fired a runner at second base to help fend off Boston in ninth. Mission over. We have an end goal of getting out there, winning our league and preparing ourselves for the post-season. And this is step #1, step #1 of many steps to come.”

Just a few feet into his fourth home career this year, Judge has gone without a long ball for the second game in a row since hitting the 60 to match the 1927 season with Babe Ruth.

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