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Yankees' González denies hitting O's Henderson after Judge injury

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New York Yankees reliever Victor González denied intentionally plunking Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson during Wednesday's game.

González hit Henderson up and in with a 94-mph sinker in the seventh inning while the Orioles led 4-1.

"You're trying to execute pitches when you're out there and competing," González told reporters via an interpreter, according to YES Network. "We're trying to execute an inside pitch there. ... Like I said, (it) just slipped out of there."

The HBP came less than 24 hours after Yankees star Aaron Judge had to leave when a pitch from Baltimore's Albert Suárez hit him on the hand. Judge didn't start Wednesday and was unavailable to pinch-hit late in New York's 7-6 extra-inning loss.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde seemed to deflect the question when asked about it postgame.

"I have no idea. Good question," he said, per's Brendan Kuty.

Another tense moment between the AL East rivals took place in the eighth inning when Baltimore's Colton Cowser slammed his bat to the ground after being hit by Yankees reliever Caleb Ferguson. However, Cowser clarified his reaction postgame, saying he was upset at being hit by a pitch rather than at Ferguson himself, according to Kuty.

The series obviously means a great deal for the Junior Circuit's two best clubs - the Orioles sit 1 1/2 games back of New York in the division - but some of the people involved are downplaying any potential bad blood developing from the last few days.

"I personally don't think so," Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins told Kuty when asked about tensions between the sides. "Just the intensity of the games and the standings is really all I see out there, and those two teams competing."

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