Brewers beat Diamondbacks in 10, advance to NLCS

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8:49 p.m.update: Nyjer Morgan singled in Carlos Gomez with one out to advance the Brewers to the NLCS.

Gomez singled off J.J. Putz and stole second to get into scoring position before Morgan hit a groundball single up the middle. Chris Young’s throw from center field wasn’t nearly in time.

8:40 p.m. update: Axford rebounded from his poor ninth to retire the Diamondbacks in order in the 10th. Craig Counsell, Carlos Gomez and Nyjer Morgan due up for Milwaukee.

8:32 p.m. update: We’re going to extra innings. David Hernandez has retired all six Brewers he’s faced.

Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Young and the pitcher’s spot are due up for the Diamondbacks in the 10th. Lyle Overbay figures to hit for Hernandez unless it’s a bunting situation.

8:28 p.m. update: Poor Jerry Hairston. He was robbed by Chris Young on his bid for a two-run double in the sixth and he just cranked another to left-center that was grabbed by Gerardo Parra.

8:25 p.m. update: Blanco grounds out to end the top of the ninth with the score tied 2-2. It was pretty impressive the way Axford bounced back, particularly after he botched the squeeze bunt.

Worth remembering now: the Brewers have taken out their third- and fourth-best hitters for defense. Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks were replaced by Carlos Gomez and Craig Counsell.

Jerry Hairston Jr., Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy are due up against David Hernandnez in the bottom of the ninth.

8:23 p.m. update: Upton taps out to Axford. Now it’s Henry Blanco up after the Diamondbacks chose to run for Miguel Montero with two outs in the eighth.

8:20 p.m. update: Axford finally gets his first out, striking out Aaron Hill. Justin Upton up.

8:17 p.m. update: A Willie Bloomquist safety squeeze ties it up. Even bigger, no out was recorded on the play after Axford got in Prince Fielder’s way, giving the Diamondbacks two on with none out.

The Brewers were 81-1 when leading after eight innings this season.

8:16 p.m. update: Burroughs pulled back the bunt and flared a 3-2 pitch into shallow right. Runners on first and third, no outs.

8:12 p.m. update: Previously hitless in 17 at-bats for the series, Gerardo Parra took John Axford’s first pitch of the ninth into right-center for a double. This is getting good.

Sean Burroughs is in looking to drop down a bunt.

8:10 p.m. update: Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez retired Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks in order in the eighth, so it’s 2-1 Brewers headed to the ninth.

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Francisco Rodriguez loaded the bases in the top of the eighth before getting Ryan Roberts to groundout to end the inning. The Brewers will take at least a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks.

While K-Rod was shaky right from the start — he walked Aaron Hill to start the inning — Brewers manager Ron Roenicke never moved to warm up closer John Axford or anyone else in the Milwaukee pen. Rodriguez gave up a single to Miguel Montero with one out and walked Chris Young to load the bases with two outs, but he appeared in control while dealing to Roberts. Roberts guessed fastball on the first pitch and got the slider. He was then late on a fastball on the second pitch, and pitch No. 3 was a routine grounder for an easy out.

The Brewers will turn to Axford in the ninth. Due up are Gerardo Parra, Sean Burroughs and Willie Bloomquist. Parra is hitless today and 0-for-17 in the series.

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.