Yan­kees slug­ger Judge smashes his way to Home Run Derby ti­tle

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - RON­ALD BLUM AND TIM REYNOLDS

Aaron Judge dom­i­nated Ma­jor League Baseball’s all-star Home Run Derby in the same man­ner he has smashed his way through his rookie sea­son.

The larger-than-life New York Yan­kees slug­ger beat Min­nesota’s Miguel Sano, 11-10, with two min­utes to spare in the fi­nal Mon­day night, reach­ing 513 feet and dis­play­ing re­mark­able power to all fields.

Judge, six-foot-seven and 282 pounds, sprayed balls of the glass be­hind left field that sup­ports the Mar­lins Park re­tractable roof, hit one over the Red Grooms home-run sculp­ture in left-cen­tre, over the bat­ter’s eye in straight­away cen­tre and, un­usu­ally for a derby, to the op­po­site field, too.

He also hit the roof near a light bank in left, 160 feet above the field. That drive didn’t count.

Hit­ting sec­ond each time, Judge knocked out Miami’s Justin Bour, 23-22, in the first round and beat Los An­ge­les Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, 13-12, in the sec­ond. Then, with light­ning vis­i­ble be­hind the huge glass door, he hit a 458-foot drive to cen­tre for the ti­tle.

Judge leads the ma­jors with 30 home runs. Booed ini­tially by the crowd of 37,027, Judge earned their cheers once de­fend­ing cham­pion Gian­carlo Stan­ton of the Mar­lins was elim­i­nated in the first round.

Judge will bat third for the Amer­i­can League on Tuesday, mean­ing his first trip to the plate will come in the top of the first against Na­tional League starter Max Scherzer. And Scherzer sounds ea­ger to check out the phe­nom.

“I’ve seen it from afar, the year he’s had so far,” said Scherzer, the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als’ ace. “Ob­vi­ously been the best hit­ter there in the Amer­i­can League. I think they will all agree with that. I en­joy fac­ing the best.”

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