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Aaron Judge joins Mark McGwire as only rookies to have a 40-homer season


Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge launched his 40th home run of the season, joining Mark McGwire as the only rookies to hit 40-plus homers in a season. McGwire, of course, launched 49 dingers for the Athletics in 1987.

Judge’s blast came in the top of the fourth inning with the bases empty, two outs, and a 3-2 count with the Yankees already leading 8-1.

Along with 40 homers, Judge is batting .275/.410/.576 with 89 RBI and 106 runs scored. The Yankees have 20 games left on the schedule, so Judge will have to go on a serious tear to match or surpass McGwire’s rookie record.

Update (5:44 PM ET): Judge hit No. 41, his second of the game, with the bases empty in the top of the sixth inning, boosting the Yankees’ lead to 12-4.

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.