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Judge lifts Yankees past Twins

HOME RUN LEADER New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fourth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 (September 8 in Manila), in New York. AP PHOTO

HOME RUN LEADER New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fourth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 (September 8 in Manila), in New York. AP PHOTO

NEW YORK: Aaron Judge started the first-game comeback with his major league-leading 55th home run, Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a go-ahead grand slam in the nightcap and the New York Yankees swept a doubleheader from the Minnesota Twins 5-4 and 7-1 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

Kiner-Falefa sparked a two-run 12th in the opener with a tying leadoff RBI single. He erased a 1-0 deficit in the fourth inning of the second game when he sent a belt-high slider from Joe Ryan (10-8) into the left-field seats. It was Kiner-Falefa's first slam among 19 career home runs.

Oswaldo Cabrera stopped an 0-for-25 slide with a game-ending single in the opener.

Gerrit Cole (11-7) struck out a season-high 14 in the night game, allowing five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. Lucas Luetge got his second save.

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Carlos Correa hit a third-inning homer for the Twins.

New York (83-54) opened a five-game AL East lead over second-place Tampa Bay and clinched its 30th straight winning season despite an injury-depleted lineup. Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson, Andrew Benintendi and Matt Carpenter were among those hurt or unavailable.

In the opener, Judge homered for the fourth straight game, driving a changeup to left in the fourth inning, the only blemish of Louie Varland's otherwise outstanding major league debut.

Judge set the Yankees record for right-handed hitters by surpassing the 54 homers hit by Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Gleyber Torres hit a two-run homer and Greg Weissert (3-0) earned the win for the Yankees. Jose Miranda homered for Minnesota, and Trevor Megill (3-3) took the loss.

Jays 4, Orioles 1

In Baltimore, Alek Manoah retired 22 of his final 23 hitters in an impressive eight-inning performance, and Toronto wrapped up a successful series in Baltimore.

The Blue Jays won three of four to take a 4 1/2-game lead on Baltimore for the last wild card in the American League. Manoah (14-7) allowed a run in the first, but the Orioles didn't manage another baserunner until the sixth.

Toronto scored three times in the fifth off Dean Kremer (6-5), who allowed two earned runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Manoah allowed three hits and a walk, striking out five. Jordan Romano struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 31st save in 35 chances.

Cardinals 6, Nationals 5

In St. Louis, Tommy Edman hit a two-run, two-out double to cap St. Louis' five-run ninth inning in a victory over Washington.

St. Louis moved 9 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead, winning for the 20th time in 23 home games.

Edman doubled to left off reliever Kyle Finnegan (5-3) to cap the rally.

Paul Goldschmidt hit his 35th homer, a solo homer off Cory Abbott leading off the fourth. Goldschmidt leads the NL with 108 RBIs.

Jake Woodford (4-0) pitched the ninth for the victory.

Luke Voit hit a two-run homer for Washington.

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