Josh Donaldson drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and clinched their spot in the postseason.
Donaldson was able to drive in Marwin Gonzalez after he started the inning on second to start extras. The Yankees’ third baseman hit a rip that got through the shortstop and third baseman and the throw from left field didn’t reach the catcher in time.
The win completed a comeback after the Yankees had watched their 3-0 lead disappear late in the game. The Yankees magic number to claim the AL East moved to six on Thursday night.
The victory came in front of a packed Yankee Stadium that had been on hand to watch Aaron Judge attempt to tie history by recording his 61st home run of the season to tie Roger Maris’ single-season home run mark. The Yankees slugger walked three times and nearly sent the building into a frenzy in the bottom of the ninth when he hit a 404-foot fly out to center field that looked as though it could clear the wall.
Jamison Taillon threw six innings of scoreless ball for the Yankees while striking out eight batters and surrendering four hits. The outing was 101 pitch night for the Yankees’ starter, who had pitched well before the bullpen blew up the game.
The Yankees broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning after Oswaldo Cabrera walked to start the inning and Harrison Bader singled to reach base. Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled as well to load the bases, which allowed Kyle Higashioka to hit a deep ball into center field that allowed Cabrera to score from third.
The Red Sox managed to escape the inning without giving up another run.
Stanton extended the Yankees’ lead to three in the bottom of the sixth inning when he got a hold of a 0-1 changeup and was able to just clear the right field wall. The two-run shot, Stanton’s 28th home run of the year, came after Donaldson had singled on a ground ball up the middle.
Boston chipped away at New York’s lead in the seventh inning and took control of the game after Taillon came out.
The Red Sox put up four runs in the seventh off reliever Clarke Schmidt. The inning quickly got off to a rocky start as Triston Casas homered to right to start things off and then Enrique Hernandez singled to get on base.
Schmidt walked Yu Chang, which set up Reese McGuire for his second home run of the season and to put the Red Sox ahead 4-3.
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The Yankees found themselves in a sticky situation once again in the next inning when Aroldis Chapman walked two of the first three batters he faced in the eighth inning and Lou Trivino walked one more batter after taking over for Chapman. But the reliever stuck with it and got Chang to pop out for the second out and McGuire to strike out swinging to end the inning.
New York tied the game at four when Bader hit a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth to score Tim Locastro.