Game 5 of the ALDS series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians has been pushed back to Tuesday after the scheduled fixture on Monday was rained out.

The teams are tied at 2-2 through four games after Gerrit Cole pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to help the Yankees extend the series with a 4-2 win in Sunday's Game 4.

For the Yankees, Jameson Taillon was scheduled to start in the series decider, while Aaron Civale was set to take the hill for the Guardians. It is not yet known if the extra day of rest will impact the decision on the game's starters.

The winner of Game 5 will play the Houston Astros in the ALCS, with Game 1 scheduled for Wednesday.

The New York Yankees held their nerve in the ninth inning this time after Gerrit Cole set up a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians to force an ALDS-deciding Game 5.

Yankees starting pitcher Cole had eight punchouts across seven innings where he allowed only two runs at Progressive Field as the visitors squared up the series at 2-2 on Sunday.

The Guardians had rallied back from a 5-3 deficit to win Game 3 on Saturday, but Wandy Peralta closed it out comfortably this time, needing only seven pitches to claim the outs of Josh Naylor, Oscar Gonzalez and Andres Gimenez.

Facing elimination, the Yankees opted to shake up their lineup with rookie Oswaldo Cabrera replacing Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop and Aaron Hicks shuffling into Cabrera's spot in left field.

Anthony Rizzo, who went two-for-four, drove in Gleyber Torres for the opening run of the game in the first inning, before the Yankees added two more in the second from a Harrison Bader two-run blast over deep left-center field from Cal Quantrill. Bader's blast was his third home run of the ALDS.

The Guardians rallied with runs in each of the third and fourth innings, firstly from Jose Ramirez's RBI bloop single into shallow left field followed by Naylor's solo homer.

Aaron Judge went one-for-four and tagged in the sixth inning from Giancarlo Stanton's sacrifice fly to pad the lead before Cole was retired after the seventh, with the Yankees bullpen finishing the job.

The win means the Yankees will host the series-deciding Game 5 on Monday for a spot in the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

The Yankees boast a 15-15 record in winner-take-all postseason games compared to Cleveland's 1-7.

Aaron Boone expects the New York Yankees to hit back after a "gut-wrenching" Game 3 defeat to the Cleveland Guardians as they battle to keep the American League Division Series alive.

The Guardians lead the best-of-five series 2-1 after a dramatic 6-5 victory at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Cleveland went into the ninth inning trailing 5-3, but Oscar Gonzalez came up with a two-out, two-strike single with the bases loaded to consign the Yankees to a walk-off loss.

Yankees manager Boone expects a response in a do-or-die Game 4 in Cleveland on Sunday.

He said: "It was a gut-wrenching ending, but we've got to get over it. Now we’re obviously up against it, but I still love our chances.

"We've got Gerrit [Cole] going tomorrow. We've got to take care of business and try and get back to New York."

Boone called for rookie pitcher Clarke Schmidt to close it out rather than Clay Holmes as the Yankees tried to cling onto their advantage in Game 3.

He defended that decision, stating Holmes would not pitch back-to-back days due to shoulder soreness.

"Part of the thing with him [Holmes] being available for this series, [he] was not really in a back-to-back situation yet," Boone explained. "He just hadn't thrown any live or anything.

"So while he was pretty good today and I fully expect him available tomorrow [Sunday], it just felt like we needed to stay away there."

Holmes felt ready to step up if called upon.

"I prepared today to do my job," Holmes said. “Sometimes those decisions aren't mine. I felt like I was available to pitch.

"Whenever my name is called, I'm ready to go out there and give it everything I've got. They asked, and I said I was good to go if needed. That’s how the conversation was. Those decisions aren't mine, but I was prepared to pitch."

The San Diego Padres delivered an unbelievable five-run seventh-inning rally to progress to the NLCS for the first time in 24 years and end the Los Angeles Dodgers' record-breaking season prematurely.

The Padres had lost Game 1 of the NLDS and trailed 3-0 halfway through the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Dodgers, who have dominated them for the past decade and had notched a franchise-best 111-51 regular season.

But San Diego found a way in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history, booking their maiden NLCS appearance since 1998, where they will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, after they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Saturday.

Jake Cronenworth delivered a go-ahead two-run single as the Padres rallied with five hits and five runs in the seventh inning after managing only four hits in six innings prior to that.

Freddie Freeman lined a two-run double in the third inning before Will Smith's seventh-inning sacrifice fly for Mookie Betts had put the Dodgers 3-0 up, the latter marking the first run the Padres bullpen had conceded all series.

San Diego responded in a crazy inning, with Austin Nola bouncing to the right side to plate Jurickson Profar, before Kim Ha-seong's left-field line drive drove in Trent Grisham to make it 3-2.

Juan Soto tied the game up with a shot into right field, before Jake Cronenworth's go-ahead two-run double turned the crowd raucous.

Closer Josh Hader struck out Freeman to clinch the win and slay the dragon from down the road at long last.

The defeat ended the campaign for the Dodgers, whose 111 regular-season wins were the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

Yankees facing elimination after Gonzalez walkoff

Oscar Gonzalez stole the show and the win for the Cleveland Guardians with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 ALDS lead.

Gonzalez hit the walk-off shot when he lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to bring home Stevan Kwan and Amed Rosario.

That came after the Yankees had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit as Aaron Judge snapped his postseason skid with a two-run home run. New York had carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning.

The Yankees bullpen flopped, meaning they are facing an early exit when the ALDS resumes on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Astros advance after Pena ends epic

Jeremy Pena blasted an 18th-inning solo shot to advance the Houston Astros to the ALCS for the sixth straight season, ending an epic 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners and completing the sweep.

Luis Garcia closed out six hours and 22 minutes of prolonged postseason action, after Pena sent Penn Murfee into the seats over left-center field with a 415-foot blast.

Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby had been brilliant with five strikeouts across seven innings, but Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr overcame illness to send down seven K's across six innings, while Houston's bullpen only allowed five hits and struck out 15.

The game was only the fourth to last 18 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. 

The record-setting Los Angeles Dodgers are on the brink of elimination from the MLB postseason after going down 2-1 to the San Diego Padres in Game 3 of the NLDS on Friday.

Jake Cronenworth's first-inning RBI and Trent Grisham's fourth-inning blast, his third of the playoffs, guided the Padres to a 2-1 series lead.

Josh Hader closed it out in the first postseason game with fans at Petco Park since 2006, striking out Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson in the ninth inning to get the win.

The Dodgers finished the regular season with a franchise-best 111 wins, which was also the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

But Dave Roberts' side will need to stave off elimination in two games to progress to the NLCS, starting on Saturday at a likely rocking Petco Park.

The Padres went ahead early with Cronenworth's center-field base hit driving in Juan Soto, before some Manny Machado brilliance at third base closed out the third inning.

Grisham, who is hitting at .389 in the playoffs, blasted a solo shot over right field at the bottom of the fourth inning from Andrew Heaney to double the lead.

Thompson halved the deficit from Mookie Betts' sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, but the Padres bullpen got the job done again, with 39 outs for the series.

Hoskins and Harper blasts lead Phillies rout

The Philadelphia Phillies moved within one win of the NLCS after crushing world champions, the Atlanta Braves 9-1, fueled by third-inning blasts from Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper in their first home playoff game in 11 years.

The Phillies piled on six runs in the third inning, headlined by Hoskins ending his rut with a shot over left field, before Harper added two more with a homer over right-center field.

Harper, who is six-for-11 in this series, added an RBI double in the seventh inning before Nick Castellanos stayed hot at the next at-bat, driving in two more.

In-form Aaron Nola was exceptional on the mound for the Phillies, striking out six while giving up five hits and two walks in six-plus innings.

Bloops help Guardians down Yankees

The Cleveland Guardians squared up the ALDS with a 4-2 win in the 10th inning against the New York Yankees after back-to-back bloop hits.

Giancarlo Stanton had blasted a first-inning two-run homer but the Guardians rallied back with Amed Rosario's fifth-inning solo shot tying the game.

In the 10th inning, Jose Ramirez showed hustle to get to third base on a bloop into left-field, before getting home from Oscar Gonzalez's go-ahead single bloop to right-field. Josh Naylor's RBI double padded the lead.

The Guardians blunted Aaron Judge, who went none-for-five and was booed by the ruthless Yankees crowd, with starting pitcher Shane Bieber having seven K's across five-and-two-third innings.

Aaron Judge says he needs to re-discover his timing after grabbing an unwanted slice of MLB history having been struck out four times in Friday's 4-2 ALDS loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

Judge may have blasted an American League record 62 regular-season home runs but he copped some boos in Game 2 at Yankee Stadium after tallying his fourth four-strikeout playoff game, which is the most by an player in MLB history.

The Yankees slugger went none-for-five as the Guardians leveled the series at 1-1, aided by back-to-back bloop hits in the 10th inning.

But the Guardians also employed a game-changing plan against Judge, targeting him with breaking balls down and away on the outer half of the plate to which he had no response. Judge is now none-for-eight with seven strikeouts in the two games played in the ALDS.

"The timing's a little off, you're going to be swinging at pitches you don't normally swing at, and the ones you can hit, you're just a tick late or tick out in front a little bit," Judge said. "Just work on that timing and I think it'll be good to go.

"There's nothing I can do. I gotta play better. That's what it comes down to. Didn't do the job tonight."

Judge's struggles came after a nine-day break between the regular season and playoffs, but also after homering only twice in his final 14 regular season games as he approached Roger Maris' AL record.

"I've had two bad games in my career multiple times," Judge said. "It's part of it. You just got to learn from it, learn from mistakes and you're ready for the next one because, guess what, there's no breaks right now."

Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber had seven strikeouts across five-and-two-third innings, while Trevor Stephan struck out four.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona was reluctant to divulge much about their plans for Judge, nor get carried away with their two-game success against him.

"I don't mean to be rude, but if I did, I'm not sure I'd really want to share it," Francona said. "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I think sometimes hitters can't hit a button, and as good as guys are, sometimes guys take none-fors.

"Until you get through a series successfully, I don't think anybody if going to stand up here and pound our chest. He's too dangerous. We know that."

Yordan Alvarez was the hero again for the Houston Astros with a go-ahead two-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners which opened up a 2-0 ALDS lead on Thursday.

Alvarez, who delivered a walk-off three-run homer in the Astros' 8-7 Game 1 victory, took center stage in the sixth inning with his side down 2-1 with a runner on, when he blasted Luis Castillo deep over left-field.

The Astros slugger, who hit 37 homers in the regular season, became the first player in major league postseason history to hit multiple career go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later when his team was trailing.

The Mariners opted to walk Alvarez in the eighth inning, shuffling Jeremy Pena to second base, enabling Alex Bregman to pad the lead with an RBL single from reliever Andres Munoz. Pena beat right-fielder Mitch Haniger's arm to home plate on Bregman's shot.

Kyle Tucker had launched a second-inning roof-scraping solo homer to have the Astros up 1-0 early, but Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo gave up little, retiring after seven innings with seven strikeouts, allowing five hits and three runs.

After second baseman Jose Altuve's brilliance in the field with a leaping throw to close the third inning, Seattle claimed the lead with two runs in the fourth, with Carlos Santana driving in Eugenio Suarez who got home when pitcher Framber Valdez threw it away at home plate.

Dylan Moore's first-up line drive to right drove in Mitch Haniger to put the Mariners up 2-1, before Alvarez intervened with his two-run shot in the sixth.

The Astros issued seven walks but still won, with Ryan Pressly striking out Ty France for the save. Starting pitcher Valdez had six K's in five-and-two-third innings, allowing four hits.

The Mariners will host their first postseason game in 21 years when the series resumes on Saturday, although they will be facing elimination.

Yankees-Guardians postponed

MLB confirmed that Game 2 of the New York Yankees-Cleveland Guardians' ALDS would be postponed due to the forecast of sustained inclement weather.

The game will instead be played at Yankee Stadium on Friday, with the hosts looking to open up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 3 remains scheduled for Saturday in Cleveland.

Gerrit Cole pitched brilliantly and Anthony Rizzo cracked the game-sealing home run as the New York Yankees defeated the Cleveland Guardians 4-1 in the first game of the ALDS on Tuesday.

Starting on the mound, Cole pitching six-and-a-third innings, giving up just one run off four hits and one walk, courtesy of a Steven Kwan home run in the third frame.

Harrison Bader replied for the Yankees later in the first inning, becoming the only Yankee to ever hit their first home run for the franchise in a playoff game, after being acquired at the deadline and struggling to find his power down the stretch.

Bader's 406-foot shot was the longest hit of the game, but the one that sent the Yankees fans into raptures came in the sixth inning.

After Jose Trevino's sacrifice-fly gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead, Rizzo came through with a runner on base in the sixth, connecting on a two-run home run to give New York some breathing room.

The Yankees' bullpen was rock solid, not allowing a baserunner in the final two innings to see out the game unscathed.

Likely AL MVP Aaron Judge had a poor outing, finishing with one walk and three strikeouts from his four at-bats, and Josh Donaldson was the only Yankee to register multiple hits, going two-for-two with a walk.

Phillies hang on by the narrowest of margins

The Philadelphia Phillies would have felt great going into the final inning of their Game 1 against the Atlanta Braves leading 7-3, but barely hung on for a 7-6 win after plenty of late drama.

Three RBIs from three Nick Castellanos hits and a pair of RBIs for Alec Bohm helped build a 7-1 Philadelphia lead in the fifth inning, but a two-run double from Travis d'Arnaud later in the fifth and three-run homer for Matt Olson in the ninth cut that lead to one.

Zach Eflin was the man entrusted with closing things out on the mound for the Phillies, but despite giving up three runs with only one out, the Phillies stuck with him, and he delivered the final two outs.

Dodgers ride early runs to Game 1 win

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 in Game 1 of the NLDS, but they did not score a run after the third inning.

It looked like it would be a high-scoring contest after Trea Turner hit a home run as the first Dodgers batter of the game, and RBIs to Gavin Lux, Will Smith and Max Muncy had them up 5-0 through three frames.

But once Padres starter Mike Clevinger was removed, their bullpen proved to be impressively stout, pitching six-and-a-third innings of shutout baseball.

Ultimately, the early advantage proved to be enough, as the Padres grabbed three runs back in the fifth inning, but could not make any impression late as Chris Martin and Alex Vesia shut things down out of the Dodgers bullpen.

Aaron Judge stands alone at the top of home run history in the American League after breaking Roger Maris' 61-year single-season homer record with his 62nd blast in the New York Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Judge, who had hit just one homer in his previous 13 games coming in, blasted a 1-1 slider off Rangers' pitcher Jesus Tinoco over the left-field fence for a lead-off homer to break the mark.

The Yankees outfielder's home run was his 62nd of the season, surpassing Maris' 61-homer mark from 1961, which he had matched last Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The blast came in the Yankees' penultimate game of the regular season, with Judge's 62 homers sitting seventh for most in a single season in MLB history.

Ahead of Judge are only three players, all from 1997 to 2001; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999).

The home run means 11 of Judge's past 14 blasts have come on the road. Gerrit Cole also made franchise history, reaching 257 strikeouts for the most in a single season for the Yankees.

The Yankees were beaten after the Rangers added two fifth-inning runs, with the visitors having won the first game in the double header 5-4 when Judge went one-for-five with a single.

Braves complete turnaround to clinch NL East

Following their sweep over the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves clinched their fifth straight National League (NL) East title with a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.

William Contreras drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning with an infield single, earning the reigning world champions a first-round bye as the NL second seed. The achievement comes after the Braves had trailed the Mets by 10-and-a-half games in June.

Jake Odorizzi had seven strikeouts across five innings, while Kenley Jansen recorded his 41st save with a perfect ninth inning. Ronald Acuna Jr hit a second-inning single to give the Braves an early lead.

AL seeds locked in as Verlander stars for Astros

The Seattle Mariners locked in the number five seed in the AL playoffs with a 7-6 walkoff win over the Detroit Tigers, highlighted by back-up catcher Luis Torrens pitching the 10th inning.

Entering extras ahead of the postseason, the Mariners shuffled their deck, with Torrens becoming the first position player other than Shohei Ohtani to earn a win since John Baker in 2014 for the Chicago Cubs. Abraham Toro's sacrifice fly allowed Carlos Santana to score the walkoff run.

That result meant the Tampa Bay Rays were locked for the third AL Wild Card spot, not helped by a 6-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox where Xander Bogaerts delivered a fifth-inning grand slam.

Meanwhile, the Houston Astros go into the postseason as the AL top seed after a 10-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies where Cy Young Award favourite Justin Verlander had 10 K's and kept the opposition hitless until the ninth inning.

History-maker Aaron Judge admits finally breaking Roger Maris' American League single-season home run record is a "big relief" after launching his 62nd blast against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Judge's lead-off homer for the New York Yankees surpassed Maris' 61-year record, having matched the mark last Wednesday, going five games without a homer leading up.

The Yankees outfielder's 62nd home run for the season came in their penultimate regular season game, putting him seventh all-time for homers in a single season.

Judge had already exceeded Babe Ruth's mark from 1927 of 60 home runs in a season, before getting past Maris with 61 from 1961.

"It's a big relief," Judge said. "I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ball game, you know? But it's been a fun ride so far.

"Getting a chance to do this, with the team we've got, the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family whose been with me through this whole thing, it's been a great honor.

"Getting a chance to have my name next to someone as great as Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, those guys, is incredible."

Judge's pursuit of his 62nd home run has felt like a circus with the anticipation surrounding him every time he was at bat, from both the dugout and the stands.

The outfielder's teammates gathered at the home plate after his historic home run to congratulate him, before receiving a standing ovation from the Texas crowd.

"Pretty surreal," Judge said. "Just like in Toronto, it was pretty awesome, having their support. I think, in Texas, they were a little more excited, they could finally exhale.

"At home, in the dugout, I can see right in and see all the guys sitting at the top steps. Here on the road, they are behind me, so I didn't see the 40-plus people sitting in the dugout.

"To finally see them run out on the field, and get a chance to hug them all, that's what it's about for me."

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, who made his own history with a franchise record 257th strikeout in a single season, was glowing in praise of Judge.

"Even just to tie the record, let alone break it is a bit surreal," Cole said. "And obviously, on a night like tonight, it's just like, 'Woah'… It's hard to put into words."

Judge has hit the most home runs in a single season of any center fielder in MLB history, previously 56 held by Hack Wilson (1930) and Ken Griffey Jr (1997 and 1998).

The Yankee's latest blast means he is 16 homers ahead of the MLB's next best, Kyle Schwarber with 46. Judge's 16-homer lead is the largest since Jimmie Foxx's 17-homer margin over Ruth from 1932.

Judge's 62 home runs have totaled a distance of 25,520 feet which is nearly five miles, and a single-season record since Statcast started tracking that in 2015, exceeding teammate Giancarlo Stanton's 2017 mark of 24,641 feet.

Aaron Judge is officially the home run king after blasting his 62nd homer to break Roger Maris' long-standing mark for the American League's (AL) single-season record.

The New York Yankees outfielder crushed the historic homer into left field in the first inning of Tuesday's game on the road against the Texas Rangers, their penultimate regular-season game.

Judge had matched Maris' 61-homer AL and Yankees record last Wednesday with a blast against the Toronto Blue Jays.

However, the Yankee had endured 23 plate appearances or five games since without a home run but he broke the drought early from Rangers pitcher Jesus Tinoco.

Maris' record had stood since 1961, edging Babe Ruth's previous record of 60 in 1927.

Only three players have scored more homers in a single season for any franchise than Judge; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999). Those three players all achieved the feat during the steroid era.

Luis Severino was pulled from the New York Yankees' 3-1 win against the Texas Rangers seven innings through a no-hitter.

Severino finished with 94 pitches, giving up no hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. The strong performance means he will finish this season with an ERA of 3.18, which is his best return since 2017 after only pitching in seven games across the past two seasons.

The Rangers broke up the no-hitter two outs after Severino was removed, but their one run was not enough after both Marwin Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton hit solo home-runs for the Yankees in the eighth inning.

Stanton's was particularly impressive, connecting on a monstrous 457-foot bomb to left-center for his 30th homer of the season. He is tied for 20th in the majors for home runs, and no other member of the top-20 has played in fewer than Stanton's 109 games.

Still one home run away from the American League and Yankees' single-season record, Aaron Judge remained on 61 as he finished one-for-four at the plate with an infield single. He has three more games to hit one homer if he is to break Roger Maris' 61-year-old record set back in 1961.

Pujols hits 703rd career home run

It appeared incredibly unlikely Albert Pujols would reach the magical 700 home run mark at the midpoint of this season, but he has comfortably sailed past that figure and knocked number 703 in the St Louis Cardinals' 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols' two-run homer in the sixth inning was responsible for all of the Cardinals' runs in the game, giving him his 24th of the season – his highest tally since 2016. With his two RBIs, he passed Babe Ruth for the second most in the history of the league, trailing only Hank Aaron.

After a combined four home runs in the first three months of the season, Pujols has caught fire and hit 19 in the last four months.

Luzardo pitches a gem for the Marlins

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo struck out 12 batters in six scoreless innings to help his side to a 4-0 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Luzardo gave up four hits and no walks, getting through the sixth inning in 101 pitches. He was then backed up with terrific work from the bullpen, not allowing a single baserunner in the final three innings.

With the bat, Bryan De La Cruz drove in three of the Marlins' four runs, with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run home run in the third.

The Miami Marlins have elected to shut down National League (NL) Cy Young Award favourite Sandy Alcantara for the remainder of the season.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly announced the decision, which he clarified was not that of the 27-year-old right-hander.

The Marlins will miss the postseason, sitting fourth in the NL East with a 66-92 record.

Alcantara is among the NL Cy Young favourites along with Zach Gallen, Julio Urias and Max Fried.

Alcantara (14-9) has been a standout, with a 2.28 ERA over 32 starts, leading the majors with 228-and-two-thirds innings. He has struck out 207 and walked 50 batters.

"Sandy was, obviously, he's one of those guys that wants to keep going," Mattingly said. "We got to do the best thing for Sandy, and we felt like this was it."

"It's pretty incredible really what Sandy's been able to do. There's no reason to have him continue this year. We got to take care of Sandy first."

Meanwhile, New York Yankees veteran reliever Zack Britton has been placed on their 60-day injured list after failing in his early return from Tommy John surgery.

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge made baseball history after blasting his 61st home run of the season to equal Roger Maris' franchise and American League (AL) single-season record.

Judge, who had gone homerless in seven games, crushed a two-run homer in the seventh inning in Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Judge's record-tying 61st home run comes with another seven games remaining in the regular season. Maris' mark dates back to 1961, edging Babe Ruth's previous record of 60 in 1927.

"It's an incredible honour, getting a chance to be associated with one of the Yankee greats, one of baseball's greats, words can't describe it," Judge said.

"That's one thing so special about the Yankees organisation, is all the guys that came before us and kind of paved the way and played the game the right way, did things the right way, did a lot of great things in this game and getting a chance to be mentioned with those guys now is, I can't even describe it, it's an incredible honor that's for sure."

The 30-year-old had gone 31 consecutive homerless plate appearances coming into Wednesday's game with some speculation he may be rested with the Yankees clinching the AL East on Tuesday.

Only three players have scored more homers in a single season for any franchise than Judge; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999). Those three players all achieved the feat during the steroid era.

"I think it puts it a notch above," Boone said about Judge last week. "I got to believe it's right there with some of the best very short list of all-time seasons. I go back to the context of the season, and the more I look at it and dive into it, it's got to be an all-time great season."

New York Yankees history-maker Aaron Judge should be revered as the single-season home run champion if he can crush a 62nd blast this season, according to Roger Maris Jr.

Judge matched Maris Sr's Yankees and American League single-season record of 61 home runs from 1961 with a seventh-inning two-run shot in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, ending a run of seven games without a homer.

That moved Judge beyond Yankees great Babe Ruth (60 in 1927), with only three players having hit more homers in one season: Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999).

All three of those players set their marks during baseball's so-called 'steroid era', making Judge's achievement appear all the more remarkable. Bonds and Sosa have denied knowingly using steroids.

Maris Jr, who sat in the crowd next to Judge's mother Patty for Wednesday's historic moment, said the Yankees outfielder's feat stood out.

"He's clean. He's a Yankee," Maris Jr told reporters. "He plays the game the right way. And he gives people a chance to look at somebody who should be revered."

The Yankees have seven regular-season games remaining, so Judge is unlikely to get near Bonds' all-time record of 73 despite being on track for that at one point earlier this season.

Instead, Judge will next set his sights when they resume at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday on breaking Maris Sr's mark, which Maris Jr said would set him apart.

"He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ," Maris Jr said. "That's really who he is, if he hits 62."

Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Judge for being a great teammate and making the whole group feel part of his achievement.

"He's as beloved as they come," Boone said. "Everyone is just so excited for him but also, I think it's partly because of how Aaron is, everyone feels a part of it.

"That's who he is as a teammate. That's part of the reason guys are so excited. That's a tribute to him."

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, who also achieved franchise history on Wednesday by tying Ron Guidry's record of 248 strikeouts in a single season, was glowing towards Judge.

"I think it's more special because of what Aaron did tonight, to be honest," Cole said. "It's obviously a really special number. Guidry was so good for us, so magical and his record held for so long."

On Judge's 61st home run, Cole added: "It kind of felt like we were the only ones there. It was just a really special moment of togetherness, and we're all so proud of him and know how hard he works.

"I know he wants to keep it low-key, but boy does he deserve it."

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