TORONTO — Aaron Judge said it first in spring training and hasn’t wavered since.
He will not defend his Home Run Derby crown this year.
“The main reason why I did it [in 2017] was for the fans,” said Judge, voted into the American League starting lineup for the All-Star Game a second straight year. “That’s really the only reason I do it is for the fans, put on a good show.”
Judge put on an unprecedented show last year in Miami, hitting four balls that surpassed 500 feet in capturing the title. But he slumped badly after the break, in large part because of a troublesome left shoulder that he injured in the season’s first half. He had arthroscopic surgery after the season.
“This year, we have something special going on here,” said Judge, who is tied with Mike Trout for second in the majors with 25 homers. “I’m kind of sad I’m not doing it [the Derby], but we have something pretty special here. I just want to stay healthy and be healthy going into the second half.”
If Giancarlo Stanton wins the fans’ Final Vote to make the All-Star Game, he said he won’t be in the Derby.
“Have done it plenty of times,” said 2016 Derby champion Stanton, who has 21 homers. “I can take a year off, take two years off if I want.”
Aaron Hicks, who left Saturday’s game after experiencing cramping in his left leg, did not start Sunday, nor did he appear in the 2-1, 10-inning victory. “Hicks is doing well,” Aaron Boone said. “He feels good. We’ll try to stay away from him but he’s an option in this game.”
Chad Green (5-1), who pitched a perfect ninth in picking up the win, extended his scoreless-innings streak to 16 1⁄3, the fourth-longest active streak in the majors.
Starters are set
CC Sabathia will start the first game of Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore and Luis Cessa will start the nightcap. Masahiro Tanaka will return from the disabled list to start Tuesday night’s game and Sonny Gray is slated to start Wednesday night.