TORONTO — Aaron Judge made it sound easy.
After an impressive May in which he had a .347/.441/.642 slash line, seven homers, 17 RBIs and 17 runs in 26 games, the Yankees rightfielder won AL Rookie of the Month honors for a second straight month Friday.
“You just build a couple good days together, it turns into a good month, and a couple good months turn into a good season,” said Judge, who hit his 18th homer — a two-run shot — into the second deck in right-center in the sixth inning Friday night.
He’s more than on the way to the latter.
Judge, moved to third in the order Thursday night, entered Friday with an MLB-best 17 homers and was second in the AL in slugging (.680) and OPS (1.107) and third in the AL in RBIs (38), OBP (.427) and total bases (119). His .326 batting average was sixth.
Judge isn’t all that comfortable talking about the individual accolades he seemingly is stockpiling on a daily basis. Always unfailingly polite, he would prefer to talk about his teammates’ successes — he has a friendly competition with fellow outfielders Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner, both of whom also continue to put up gaudy numbers — or the team’s overall standing, first in the AL East.
“We’re having a good season, our team’s doing well,” Judge said. “That’s what it’s all about, that’s why we play, to win.”
Ellsbury still not ready
Jacoby Ellsbury, on the seven-day concussion disabled list for nine days and counting, took some batting practice Friday, but Joe Girardi said he is unlikely to return during this series. “He continues to feel better,’’ he said, “but there’s still work they’re doing on him physically.”
Ellsbury also suffered a neck sprain when he crashed into the wall while making a catch May 24 against the Royals.
Bird plays again
Greg Bird (1-for-3) had an RBI double and a walk Friday night for high Class A Tampa after going 1-for-1 with two walks against a knuckleballer in his first rehab game Thursday night.