Yankees lose without Judge, finish with 99 wins

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New York Yankees 2, Texas Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — The New York Yankees finished the regular season with 99 victories, and slugger Aaron Judge broke the record for most home runs hit in the American League with 62.

They have already shifted their attention to trying to win their 28th World Series title, which would also be their first since the year 2009.

“This is the most enjoyable time of the year,” Judge said.

Judge wasn’t in the lineup on Wednesday, a day after hitting his 62nd home run, which set an American League record. The Yankees also lost their last game of the season, 4–2, to the Texas Rangers, ending the season with 99 wins. At the start of July, New York was on track to win 118 games, which would be four more than the team record, which was set in 1998.

AL East champs. I mean, that’s what we hope for in the regular season. You know, we put ourselves in a good spot now. So I guess first mission accomplished in that regard, manager Aaron Boone said. There’s some satisfaction in that. But, you know, our group … we want to win it all. And that’s what we’re focused on now.

The AL East champion Yankees (99-63) got a home run from Jose Trevino. The Yankees had a chance to win 100 games for the 22nd time and give the major leagues their first five 100-win teams. They have a long break until Tuesday, when they start the AL Division Series at home.

Judge argued that he should play in the last game of the regular season, but Boone wouldn’t let him. The slugger had played 55 games in a row and 157 games overall to try to beat Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a single season, which had stood since 1961.

In the ninth inning, the 28,056 people in the crowd chanted, “We want Judge! We want Judge!” because they wanted to see him try to hit one more home run.

“Not now. All year, he got a lot of them, “Boone said. “I hope we still have a lot to play for in the playoffs.”

Judge’s final batting average was .311, which was second in the AL behind Minnesota’s Luis Arraez’s .316. Judge also had 62 home runs and 131 RBI, which were the most of any player.

Charlie Culberson and Jonah Heim both hit home runs for the Rangers, who finished their sixth straight losing season with a record of 68-94. Texas had a record of 17-31 when interim manager Tony Beasley took over on August 15. This was two days after longtime general manager and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels was also fired.

Before winning 3-2 in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday night, Texas had lost seven straight games.

It is good to be able to end on a winning note. Really we played a good series, Beasley said. That was good for the guys to come out, compete until the end and not quit and not give up. … That’s a testament to the guys in that clubhouse and the character in the clubhouse and what they’re made out of. So those are positive signs of moving forward.

Glenn Otto, a rookie pitcher for the Rangers who is 7-10, gave up two runs and four hits over six innings. He struck out five batters and walked two. The ninth was worked by Matt Moore, the third reliever for Texas. This was his fifth save in six chances.

Domingo Germán, who started for New York and has a record of 2-5, gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings. This ended his best stretch of 12 straight starts in which he gave up three earned runs or less.

Trevino’s solo home run in the fourth inning gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. It was his 11th home run overall, but it was his first in 40 games. Heim’s 16th home run brought Texas even, and Bubba Thompson’s RBI double and Marcus Semien’s single put Texas ahead in the fifth.

In the third, veteran utility player Culberson hit his second home run. He had only played three times in the last 32 games.

UP NEXT

In the ALDS, the Yankees will either play Cleveland or Tampa Bay at home.

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