delivers again as Yankees get the verdict
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[October 18, 2017]
(Reuters) - New York Yankees
slugger Aaron Judge delivered once again with a home run that paved
the way for a come-from-behind 6-4 win over the Houston Astros on
Tuesday, squaring their best-of-seven American League Championship
Series at 2-2.
With the Yankees trailing 4-0 in the seventh inning, the 6-foot
7-inch (201 cm) slugger sent a towering solo home run more than 400
feet over centerfield.
That one mighty hit from Judge, who hit a three-run homer and made
two outstanding catches in Monday's 8-1 win over the Astros, ignited
a subdued Yankee Stadium crowd and seemed to give the team belief.
The 25-year-old delivered an encore by tying the game with a double
in the eighth before the Yankees went on to take the victory and
even the series.
"It's pretty surreal to be honest," Judge told reporters.
"I've been in that situation in my head a thousand times, game on
the line, but the dream's not the same as reality, being out there
with that crowd and that atmosphere."
The California native has taken New York by storm, breaking the
Major League Baseball record for home runs in a season by a rookie
His 33 homers at home also eclipsed Babe Ruth's record for home runs
by a Yankee at Yankee Stadium.
Judge is favorite to win the league Rookie of the Year award, and is
also rated by some experts as a contender for most valuable player
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Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (right) and right fielder Aaron
Judge (99) celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in game four
of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium.
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
"I felt Aaron's home run lit a little spark," New York manager Joe
Girardi told reporters. "That was a huge at-bat by Aaron to get us
in that situation.
"I'm caught up in it (the excitement) like everyone else,
anticipating he's gong to do something great because we've seen it
so many times this year.
"It was (a) special (atmosphere) again tonight. Every home game has
been special. I feel the fans are back."
The series continues with Game Five at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday,
when Houston will send their number one starter Dallas Keuchel to
the mound, while the Yankees will start Japanese ace Masahiro
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter
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