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Video: Aaron Judge hits 39th homer, second-most in a season by a rookie


Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge entered Thursday afternoon’s game against the Orioles with 38 home runs, tying him with Wally Berger and Frank Robinson for the second-most home runs hit in a season by a rookie. The slugger mashed a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, boosting the Yankees’ lead to 3-0, to take sole possession of second place.

The record is held by Mark McGwire, who hit 49 dingers for the Athletics in 1987. Judge will need to hit 10 home runs over the final 23 games of the season. If it’s first-half Judge we’re talking about, that’d be no problem, but second-half Judge has been a less powerful hitter. He hit 30 home runs in 366 PA (one homer per 12.2 PA) in the first half, but has managed just 13 in 314 (one homer per 24.1 PA) in the second half.

Overall, Judge is batting .276/.412/.574 with 87 RBI and 104 runs scored along with the 39 round-trippers.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.