Alek Manoah takes shot at Gerrit Cole after near dust-up from Judge hit by pitch

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There was nearly a benches-clearing moment in the Yankees-Blue Jays game on Sunday when Alek Manoah hit Aaron Judge in the elbow with first base open and one out in the fifth inning, much to the dismay of Gerrit Cole.

The Yankees ace left the dugout and was jawing at Manoah before he was restrained by Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza and the situation eventually de-escalated without further incident.

But that did not stop Manoah from taking a dig at Cole after the game when the Blue Jays ace was asked about the fifth inning dustup.

“Been struggling with my sinker for about five, six starts now,” he said. “I made a pitch and obviously hit Judge. I looked at him and said, ‘I’m not trying to do that.’ I think he understood that.

“And I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time.”

Manoah was referencing the Audi ad that is sprayed on the field between the Yankees dugout and first base line, which Cole never made it past.

Judge also seemed initially upset about the pitch, exchanging some words with Manoah before taking his base. Manoah appears to say something to Judge when Cole and the Yankees bench began to clear out.

As Cole was being calmed down, Judge then walked back toward Manoah from first where the two calmly exchanged some words before Judge went back to first and pointed toward the dugout in a manner that seemed to signal everything was fine.

After the game, Judge said he was initially “pissed” and didn’t like getting hit but he did not think it was intentional.

“It’s the heat of the moment. Nobody likes getting hit,” Judge said.

Cole also spoke after the game to explain his reaction.

“Aaron got hit,” Cole said. “And we had been dusted several times. So.”

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