Aaron Judge hit home runs No. 42 and 43

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Aaron Judge made some more headway towards Mark McGwire’s single-season rookie record for home runs, blasting home runs No. 42 and 43 on Thursday evening against the Orioles.

Judge’s first blast came in the fourth inning with two runners on base against Mike Wright on a 97 MPH fastball. That pushed the Yankees’ lead to 9-1, furthering a lead they would never relinquish. Statcast measured the homer at 448 feet.

The second one pushed the score to 12-2 in the sixth inning, another three-run bomb, this time off of Richard Rodriguez.

Judge will need six more homers to tie McGwire’s record at 49. The Yankees have 16 games left. It seems doable.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.