Aaron Judge passes another test in rehab process


Aaron Judge made progress toward taking batting practice on the field when he went through tee-and-toss hitting drills.

“Another positive step forward and responded well,’’ Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the right fielder who also fielded ground balls in the outfield and ran the bases. “He was able to pop the ball so we will continue to do that through the weekend.’’

According to Boone, the Yankees aren’t sure what the plan will be when Judge is able to take full batting practice.

“We are not exactly sure when he gets to the point when he faces live pitching how exactly we will do that,’’ Boone said.

Luke Voit’s power show, which produced seven homers in the previous 12 games going into the Yankees’ 8-2 loss to the A’s Wednesday night, has made Greg Bird a full-time spectator.

For the third straight game, the A’s started a right-hander and the right-handed hitting Voit got the start at first base. He went 1-for-4.

Bird’s most recent start at first was Aug. 29 against the White Sox when he went 1-for-3 with a double. Since then he has had one at-bat as a pinch hitter — it came on Sunday — and he flied out.

Bird has three hits in the previous 39 at-bats (.077).

J.A. Happ is 5-0 with a 3.10 ERA in his first seven starts with the Yankees, which goes along with his performance after being dealt. In 41 games (37 starts), the left-hander is 20-8 with a 3.24 ERA in his career after being traded.

Justus Sheffield was saddled with a blown save for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the first game of the International League playoffs against Lehigh on Wednesday night. Sheffield came into the game from the bullpen and gave up two runs (one earned) and four hits in the sixth inning. SWB came back to win, 3-2.

The Yankees had hit 25 homers in the previous 13 games. It has them on pace to challenge the 1997 Mariners’ all-time record for homers (264) in a season. The Yankees have 228 homers on the season after Gary Sanchez hit a two-run shot on Wednesday.

The Yankees have nine players with double-figure homers and were on the verge of getting a 10th, which would tie the team record and be one short of the all-time mark.

Austin Romine and Neil Walker each have nine and Voit has seven.

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