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Aaron Judge making big name for himself

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees follows through on a fourth inning RBI double against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 in the Bronx Borough of New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

You don’t often see 6-7, 275-pounders walking down the street, even in a city as populated and bustling as New York.

But nobody has stopped Aaron Judge — not for an autograph and not even to inquire if he is the Giants’ newest defensive end.

According to Judge, it’s as if he has not been recognized.

“I’ve been walking pretty fast, though,” he said, laughing.

Judge’s days of anonymity appear numbered. After homer ing in each of his first two major-league games this past weekend, the 24-year-old Yankees rightfielder went 2-for-3 with an RBI double Monday night in a 1-0 win over Toronto.

No other player in Yankees history has recorded an extra-base hit in each of the first three games of his career.

“It’s quite an honor,” Judge said.

For Judge, the firsts have been accumulating quickly, being recognized in public notwithstanding. He homered in his first plate appearance Saturday and, for the first time in his entire life, recorded a hit against a knu ckleballer Monday night.

Judge, who said he went hitless in either two or three at-bats against a minor-league knuckleballer in 2014, laced R.A. Dickey’s first-pitch knuckler with runners at first and second for a double in the fourth inning. The ball shot off Judge’s bat at 102 mph and landed on the warning track, easily driving in Brian McCann from second.

On a night when the Yankees (61-57) went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position, Chad Green’s two-hit, 11-strikeout performance over six innings and Judge’s double were the difference-makers.

“You know that if [Judge] gets the ball in the air, it can be trouble,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s exactly what he did, and it turned out to be a huge RBI.”

Judge had struck out in the second inning on a flat knuckler, the only one during the at-bat that rotated too much to dance unpredictably. When he saw the first pitch of his second at-bat come in with less rotation but still fairly flat, he did not miss it.

“The first at-bat was just kind of a little experiment, basically, just test him out a little bit,” Judge said. “He threw me a couple of fastballs, too, and it just kind of prepared me for the next at-bat.”

Now it would behoove Judge to prepare for people to recognize him as the Yankees’ towering power hitter while he navigates his new city.

“From a physical standpoint, you look at Aaron Judge and you think he’s an NFL defensive end,” Girardi said.

“That’s the way we look at it, and hopefully for us he does very well, and when he’s walking down the street, people don’t bother him too much because they think he’s a football player and don’t know who he is.”

New York Sports