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NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and topped 100 RBIs; Didi Gregorius surpassed Derek Jeter for the most home runs by a Yankees shortstop; and New York beat the Minnesota Twins 11-3 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

The game was briefly halted in the fifth inning when a foul ball down the third-base line off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a young girl, who was carried out of the stands, given first aid and taken to a hospital. The protective netting at Yankee Stadium ends at the home-plate side of each dugout, and the team said in July it is "seriously exploring" extending the netting for 2018.

Frazier knelt down and covered his head, and many other Yankees and Twins watched in stunned silence as the fan was helped. The Yankees said they weren't allowed to provide more information on her condition.

The Yankees, who have won 10 of 12, began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston. They opened a seven-game advantage over the Twins for the top AL wild card with 10 games remaining.

Minnesota started 1½ games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the league's last playoff berth. The Twins have lost five of six and were outscored 18-6 in the three-game series.

Judge hit his eighth home run of September, a two-run drive that began the comeback from a 3-0 deficit. He added a sacrifice fly for his 101st RBI, joining Joe DiMaggio, Tony Lazzeri and Hideki Matsui as the only Yankees rookies to reach the century mark.

Judge's opposite-field drive down the right-field line came on an 0-2 pitch from Bartolo Colon


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NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and topped 100 RBI, Didi Gregorius surpassed Derek Jeter for the most home runs by a Yankees shortstop and New York beat the Minnesota Twins 11-3 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

The game was briefly halted in the fifth inning when a foul ball down the third-base line off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a young girl, who was carried out of the stands and taken to a hospital. The protective netting at Yankee Stadium ends at the home plate side of each dugout, and the team said in July it is "seriously exploring" extending the netting for 2018.

The Yankees, who have won 10 of 12, began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston. They opened a seven-game advantage over the Twins for the top AL wild card with 10 games remaining.

Minnesota started 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the league's last playoff berth. The Twins have lost five of six and were outscored 18-6 in the three-game series.


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NEW YORK -- A young fan sitting in the lower-level seats at Yankee Stadium was bloodied by a 105 mph line drive that struck her in the face during Wednesday's Minnesota Twins-New York Yankees game. 

She was transported to a nearby hospital, and there was no update on her condition as of Wednesday evening.

The toddler was attending the game with her grandparents.

The game was delayed for about five minutes as medics attended to her. Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier looked visibly upset, while teammate Matt Holliday wiped away tears.

The Yankees declined to talk about her status, citing HIPPA laws that protect individuals' privacy. During Yankees manager Joe Girardi's postgame news conference, he said he was told by members of the team's security staff that the girl was doing OK, but he said that was only second- or thirdhand information.

Frazier had tears in his eyes as he spoke to reporters postgame. It was his fifth-inning liner that hit the girl in the face as she sat with her grandparents about five rows up on the third-base side of Yankee Stadium. Frazier said he thought of his own two children, who are around the same age as the little girl.

"It was terrible," Frazier said. "I was shaken up a little bit. I hope she is all right. It is something that I wish never happened. It was tough. Tough to watch. Tough to be a part of, to be honest."

The protective netting at Yankee Stadium ends at the home-plate side of each dugout. After the game, many players voiced support for more safeguards.

"We need it," Yankees All-Star Aaron Judge said.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier


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Didi Gregorius makes history by crushing his 25th home run, which is the most ever hit by a Yankees shortstop in a season.

The New York Yankees are fully embracing the thumbs-down sign.

The internet meme was born after Todd Frazier hit a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field, leading an unhappy fan to stoically show his displeasure as Frazier rounded the bases. The Yankees have playfully made the sign in the dugout after home runs. On Wednesday, prior to their game against the Minnesota Twins, showed off T-shirts they had created.  

Frazier, the target of the scorn, made sure to let everyone know how he felt in this pregame photobombing of Matt Holliday

The Yankees are rolling toward a playoff berth after two years with no October baseball and the hope in the Bronx is there will be plenty of thumbs-down signs this fall. 

-- John Silver


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On September 20, the Yankees' third baseman set a new record by connecting the twenty-fourth grand slam of his career and beating the legendary, Lou Gehrig.

Sabathia, Gardner help Yankees top Twins 5-2

September, 20, 2017
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NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky start to pitch six innings, Brett Gardner had a pair of tying hits and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Tuesday night to ensure their sixth straight series win.

With their ninth victory in 11 games, the Yankees remained three games behind AL East-leading Boston and opened six-game lead over the Twins for the top AL wild card. At 84-67, the Yankees are 17 games over .500 for the first time since September 2015.

Minnesota, which started the night 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card, has lost four of five.

Pitching on seven days' rest in a game that started 65 minutes late because of a downpour, Sabathia (12-5) allowed Minnesota to load the bases in his first four pitches. He fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 but hung on and allowed six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He retired 10 in a row during one stretch.


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Aaron Judge flies out to right field and scores Greg Bird in the fourth inning as the Yankees take the lead over the Twins.

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty ImagesLuis Severino has not allowed more than one earned run in nine of his 12 outings since the break.

NEW YORK -- Luis Severino was moved up two days by the New York Yankees and is scheduled to start Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday the move was made to give Severino three more regular-season starts as New York tries to overtake Boston in the American League East.

Severino had been slated to start Friday at Toronto and will be replaced against the Blue Jays by Masahiro Tanaka.

A 23-year-old right-hander, Severino is 13-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 29 starts this season. He has not allowed more than one earned run in nine of 12 outings since the All-Star break.

"Our goal is still to win the division. We've clinched nothing at this point," Girardi said. "We still have a lot of work to do in front of us, so it gives us the ability to start him three more times."

Severino will be pitching on regular four days' rest.

"If I had to choose, I'd choose tomorrow," Severino said. "I like to pitch on five days. When I rest a lot my arm feels very good, so I can't control my fastball. I feel better with five days."


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NEW YORK -- There he was, all 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds of Aroldis Chapman, looking like the $86 million man. The fastballs were flying in at warp speed.

Whoosh! 100.5 mph! The hot-hitting Joe Mauer looked at Chapman’s first pitch for a strike.

Boom! 101 mph! Mauer foul-tipped it.

Zoom! 102 mph! Mauer swung and missed.

Chapman followed by dialing up 100.8 mph heat to force Byron Buxton to fly out to right.

Just like that -- with just four pitches -- Chapman cleaned up setup man Dellin Betances’ bases-loaded, eighth-inning mess and began what turned out to be a five-out save. Chapman ended a one-two-three ninth with a 103.7 mph fastball to strike out Minnesota Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar swinging, and the New York Yankees defeated the Twins 2-1 Monday night in a possible American League wild-card preview.

Aroldis ChapmanKathy Willens/AP PhotoAroldis Chapman came up clutch in the Yankees' win Monday, staking a claim on regaining his prominence in their pen.

The win didn’t clinch home-field advantage for this postseason’s opening do-or-die game, but it would take an epic collapse to prevent it. The Yankees have a five-game edge on Minnesota and have their eyes focused on a bigger catch, the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, who lead New York by three games after beating the Orioles in 11 innings on Monday.

While Chapman is back, Betances is a little lost. Yankees manager Joe Girardi sounded like a man who might temporarily demote Betances, an All-Star in each of his four full seasons, to try to get him right. It worked when Chapman struggled a month ago.

Girardi moved Chapman down in the bullpen pecking order, to lower-leverage situations, to find himself. He has, and now Girardi is leaning on Chapman to pick up Betances. The manager did run the risk of overextending Chapman with an inning-plus save.

Girardi could use David Robertson and Chad Green instead of Betances, but the manager has carved out Andrew Miller-type bridge roles to snuff out the opposition in the middle innings for both Green and Robertson.

“You like to have roles, but if you have to make some adjustments, you make them,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line. It is the time of year that if you have to make some adjustments, you make them.”

Betances has been so good for four years, but Girardi can’t let his wildness cost the Yankees a game as they try to catch the Red Sox in the AL East with the regular-season calendar running out. On Monday, Betances walked two batters and a hit another while recording just one out before he left to boos.

“Today, we were lucky,” Betances said “Chapman did an unbelievable job. I put him in a tough situation. I can’t keep doing that. I have to be better.”

Betances said he has felt better of late, but on Monday he was “yanking” his pitches, just throwing his 6-foot-8 frame off enough to make him wild.

“My timing was off,” Betances said.

Betances is as much a New York guy as anyone in the Yankees’ clubhouse, so he knows what to say and how to say it. Betances is the rare person who grew up in New York, a fan of the Yankees, and then went on to star for them. He is a Bleacher Creature at heart, even attending David Wells’ perfect game in 1998. Betances knows what the people in the seats demand. Even with his past success, this is no time for him to complain about where he might be used.

“I’m going to pitch whenever my name is called upon,” Betances said.

A month ago, it was Chapman who needed to be better. The demotion worked to help him get right.

At the moment, Chapman is much better. With Robertson and Green pitching well, the Yankees currently have a three-headed bullpen monster. If they get Betances back on the right form, they will really have something dangerous going into October.

On Monday, as the Yankees put a little more distance between themselves and the Twins, all they really needed was Chapman, the man who once again is back on top of the Yankees’ bullpen pecking order.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Didi Gregorius
BA HR RBI R
.291 25 84 70
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Judge 45
RBIA. Judge 101
RA. Judge 119
OPSA. Judge 1.003
WL. Severino 13
ERAL. Severino 3.03
SOL. Severino 221