Aaron Judge out of Yankees’ lineup vs. Red Sox with calf ‘soreness’

Aaron Judge was held out of Thursday’s series-opening, 6-5 win over the Red Sox due to “lower-body soreness,” Aaron Boone said — specifically his calves, something the slugger has dealt with in prior seasons.

Judge said he’s been dealing with the discomfort was “stuff I’ve been feeling for a week” and said his absence was “just precautionary.’’

The Yankees exited the victory with a 15-game edge over Boston and a 14 ¹/₂-game lead on the second-place Rays in the AL East, but can still hardly afford to lose Judge for an extended period of time. Both Boone and general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday they expect it to be a day-to-day situation.

“The last couple nights there was tightness in his lower calf,’’ Boone said before the game at Fenway Park. “The idea is for him to be back in there [Friday]. It’s not something I’m overly concerned about. It’s more important to get out ahead of it and make sure it doesn’t turn into something big. It’s not something we wanted to mess around with.”

Certainly not with a sizable lead in the division and with Judge in the midst of an MVP-caliber season.

Judge added playing center field “has nothing to do with” the soreness.

After being given a scheduled day off Sunday in Cleveland, when he was limited to a pinch-hit appearance in a loss to the Guardians, the Yankees had an off day on Monday before Judge played both games in Pittsburgh.

“He’s grinding through a lot in this half [of the season],’’ Boone said. “We’ll make sure it’s not a bigger issue. … You don’t want to mess with it, especially where we are in the season.”

On Wednesday, Judge hit a grand slam for his MLB-best 30th homer. With the season he’s having, Judge has been at the forefront of the AL MVP conversation, along with the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, and Cashman said he was pulling for Judge to win it as he potentially heads towards free agency.

“Obviously, no one wants him to win the MVP more than we do,’’ Cashman said. “We want our players to be the best they can possibly be and he’s standing tall. I look forward to him leading us the whole way, hopefully.”

Judge had been 2-for-16 before his three-hit night in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, which included a grand slam.