Aaron Judge had so much fun celebrating an extra-innings New York Yankees home walk-off victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night that he chipped a tooth after getting hit in the mouth by a helmet that flew off a teammate’s head.

Aaron Judge Yankees Rays news

After Brett Gardner smacked the third walk-off homer of his career — a solo homer into the right-field seats off Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge — to seal New York’s 6-5 win, the Yankees standing in the dugout rushed onto the field to high-five and hug Gardner — who also hit a triple in the ninth inning to spark a game-tying rally — at home plate. Amidst the celebration, Judge was accidentally whacked squarely in the mouth by a loose helmet that Todd Frazier said he believed belonged to rookie left fielder Clint Frazier. 


“We’ve got good vibes going on,” Todd Frazier said. “Everybody’s coming in here and you can feel it. I’ve been on winning teams before, and when you come to the ballpark, it’s all smiles. Guys are joking around a lot. When you win, good stuff happens.”

According to MLB Yankees writer Bryan Hoch, however, the Yankees’ public relations department reported it was Gardner’s helmet that struck Judge, and that the tall rookie outfielder will be fine to play on Friday night, when the Yankees host the Rays for the second contest of a four-game series.

Gardner acknowledged the helmet that hit Judge was his but refused to take the blame, however.

“It wasn’t my fault,” Gardner said. “I threw it on the ground and then I think he had it in his hand. Somebody bumped into him and it hit him in the face. He’s too big to get hurt by something like that. I think he’ll be all right.”


Yankees security later searched the field for Judge’s missing tooth, but to no avail:

Masahiro Tanaka (7-9, 5.37 ERA) will attempt to end a three-start winless streak when he takes the mound for the Yankees for Friday’s home game, which will begin at 7:05pm EST. The Japanese righty has struggled in two losses to the Rays so far this season, having allowed 13 runs and 17 hits in 5 2/3 innings (20.65 ERA).

Tampa Bay (53-50) will counter with Austin Pruitt (5-1, 6.25 ERA), who is being recalled from the minor leagues to make the start.

The Yankees (54-46) have won four straight games and six of their last seven. They sit half a game behind the Boston Red Sox (56-47) for the lead in the American League East.

BOSTON, MA – JULY 16: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees begins to the round the bases before he is robbed of a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning of game two of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on July (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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