The New York Yankees had been one of two teams in Major League Baseball that had not come back from a deficit of four or more runs to win this season, starting 0-for-35 this season. That changed on Monday afternoon against a usual punching bag in the Minnesota Twins.
Overturning a 5-0 deficit, the Yankees stormed back to tie it in the eighth inning behind Aaron Judge’s three-run home run before Gary Sanchez lined a single down the left-field line to score Gleyber Torres — the automatic runner on second base — to walk things off in the 10th for a 6-5 victory and just their fourth triumph over their last 16 games.
The early win on Monday at least puts pressure on the rest of their division rivals to keep up the pace after the Yankees dropped to fourth place in the American League East following their Sunday-night loss to the Mets and out of the second Wild Card spot as they’ve been passed by a pair of division rivals in the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.
Starting pitcher Luis Gil allowed a pair of two-run home runs to Jorge Polanco — his 30th of the season — and Miguel Sano in the first inning alone to put the Yankees in an immediate 4-0 hole. Byron Buxton added a solo shot in the third inning of Gil, who had not allowed an extra-base hit in the first 19 innings of his professional career.
New York’s offense was held down by a Twins bullpen that was called in early for some overtime after starting pitcher Jake Gant left with just two outs in the first inning because of an injury.
The Twins’ bullpen was cruising, not yielding a hit until the fifth inning when Joey Gallo took advantage of the infield sitting back and bunted for a single. He was quickly canceled out by a Luke Voit double play, however.
Finally, the Yankees got on the board in the sixth inning when DJ LeMahieu’s line drive deep to right field was snagged by a leaping catch at the top of the wall by Max Kepler, scoring Tyler Wade from third on the sacrifice fly.
They would add another one in the seventh when Gallo deposited his 33rd home run of the season into the right-field seats to pull the Yankees within three.
After walks to Anthony Rizzo and LeMahieu by Tyler Duffey — the latter getting away with a few borderline pitches that could have very well been the finisher of a two-strike count — the Yankees got exactly what they wanted in the bottom of the eighth with Judge at the plate as the tying run with two outs in the frame.
Minnesota countered with reliever Alex Colome, who Judge had been 0-for-5 in his career against, and sent a 2-1 cutter into the right-field seats to tie the game.