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Aaron Judge showed positive signs of hand recovery in Orioles rout

Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees lineup on Thursday and appeared to be OK with a bruised left hand.

Two days after being hit in the hand by a 94 mph fastball from Baltimore’s Albert Suarez, Judge played in center field and batted third in a game against the Orioles in the Bronx, but the Yankees suffered an ugly 17-5 defeat.

Aaron Boone said the swelling in Judge’s hand has gone down but he is still in some discomfort.

New York Yankees’ No. 99 Aaron Judge hit a two-run home run in the top of the third inning, sending home No. 22 Juan Soto of the team. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Nevertheless, Judge hit a two-run homer and a one-run single, providing one of the few bright spots on a muggy Thursday afternoon.

He produced some of the lone highlights against Baltimore, which won another series against the Yankees.

Things got so bad that Judge was removed from the defense along with Juan Soto in the top of the eighth inning.

The Yankees were down by seven runs after being knocked out in the second inning by an unexpected slump from Luis Gil, but Judge hit his 27th home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning, a two-run homer to make the score 8-3.

The ball was hit at 110 mph like a bullet to right-center field.

With two outs, he hit a laser-like RBI single to left that went under the glove of a diving Austin Hayes and sent Anthony Volpe home.

New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium: New York Yankees' Aaron Judge (No. 99) is cheered on by his teammates in the dugout after scoring with a two-run home run that drove in New York Yankees' Juan Soto (No. 22) in the top of the third inning.
New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium: New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (No. 99) is greeted by his teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run that drove in New York Yankees’ Juan Soto (No. 22) in the top of the third inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The ball was hit at 114 mph.

Boone said before the game that Judge gave him the “thumbs up” after receiving treatment and taking a hit at the hoop.

Judge left the game in the fourth inning on Tuesday, but the Yankees avoided the worst-case scenario after imaging tests came back negative.

He sat out Wednesday’s loss in the Bronx after the Yankees struck out Jamai Jones in an attempt to end the game with runners on base to tie the game.

Boone said Thursday he would “probably” keep a close eye on Judge, but added, “I’m watching him pretty closely, anyway. We should be in a good spot.” [with the injury]. ”

Boone was pleased to have Judge and his MVP-caliber numbers back in the lineup on Thursday.

“It’s definitely a good feeling,” Boone said. “Obviously, I know what a great player he is. [and] “He’s a captain in that room. The guys rally around him. And with him back in the lineup, it adds length to the lineup, as well as guys at different positions.”