Aaron Judge out of Yankees' lineup against Orioles, one night after getting hit on hand by pitch

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts to getting hit by a pitch from Baltimore Orioles' Albert Suárez during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge was out of the New York Yankees' lineup Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles, one night after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge was feeling better, though, and even took a few swings in the indoor batting cage.

“I think it's day to day,” Boone said before the game. “It was probably close today."

“But definitely is still pretty sore in there, so I don’t want him to go out there and kind of compromise anything just to fight through it, just start a bad habit or something," he added. "So hopefully continue to get improvements today and we’ll see about tomorrow.”

Trent Grisham replaced Judge in center field and batted ninth as New York lost 7-6 in 10 innings. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitched four-plus innings in his season debut after recovering from a right elbow injury.

Judge was struck by a 94.1 mph fastball from Baltimore starter Albert Suárez during New York's 4-2 win Tuesday night. The slugger left the game an inning later, but X-rays and a CT scan were negative, so it appears he avoided serious injury.

“I think we both kind of came in a little bit open to (playing Wednesday). And then ultimately I just kind of said, 'I think we should take the day. It doesn’t hurt, grand scheme of things,'" Boone said. “Hopefully serves him well total body as well.”

Judge is batting .302 and leads the major leagues with 26 homers and 64 RBIs. The 32-year-old outfielder is a five-time All-Star and was the 2022 AL MVP after hitting 62 home runs to break the AL record of 61 by Roger Maris set in 1961.

Judge missed 45 games with a broken right wrist after he was hit by a 93.4 mph pitch from Kansas City’s Jakob Junis on July 26, 2018.

“Feeling better after I got some good news,” Judge said Tuesday night after returning to Yankee Stadium from New York–Presbyterian Hospital. “A big relief. Just being hit there before a couple of years ago and breaking the wrist, you never know what’s going to happen. So finding out that it’s not fractured, not broken, is definitely a sigh of relief.”

Another big star, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts, broke his left hand Sunday when hit by a pitch from Dan Altavilla of the Kansas City Royals and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

“Anytime you get hit by 94, 95 up and in like that and especially in the hands where there’s so many small bones,” Judge said, “you just never know what’s going to happen and what it’s going to be.”


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.