Yankees ride Harrison Bader to comeback win over Rangers 5-3

Gerrit Cole Yankees
Gerrit Cole (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The New York Yankees came back to steal the rubber game from the Texas Rangers on Sunday, claiming a 5-3 victory thanks to a two-run double by Harrison Bader in the 8th inning. 

The Yankees came into the bottom of the 8th inning trailing 3-2, but Anthony Volpe started things off with a double to left-center field off of Rangers’ reliever John King. It was Volpe’s only hit of the game, as the rookie also struck out twice but was still able to raise his batting average to .195 on the year.  

Jose Trevino followed Volpe with an infield single and after Gleyber Torres flew out to right, the Rangers went to the bullpen with Yerry Rodriguez, who entered the day with a 3.38 ERA in just 5.1 innings.

The move did not work. 

Harrison Bader cranked a double to the wall in left-center, scoring Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera, who had entered to run for Trevino. Two batters later, Giancarlo Stanton singled to left, scoring Bader and giving the Yankees a 5-3 lead. 

Giancarlo Stanton Yankees
New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton swings on a pitch in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

It was just New York’s third win in 30 games when trailing after seven innings.

Bader was the only player in the Yankees lineup to get multiple hits on the day, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. The rest of the team had six hits, but that was still a strong showing for New York considering the Yankees have scored the fewest runs in baseball since Aaron Judge got hurt on June 3rd. 

The game didn’t start off on a great foot for New York either. 

The Rangers jumped on them early, scoring all three runs in the first two innings. In fact, Texas had their first run after the first two batters of the game. Marcus Semien led off the game with a double off of Gerrit Cole, and then Corey Seager knocked him in with a single. 

Cole would strike out the next three batters, but Texas would strike again in the second inning. Jonah Heim led off the frame with a 418-foot home run to right field then two batters later, former Yankees prospect Ezequiel Duran doubled and was knocked in by a Leody Taveras double in the next at-bat. 

From there, Cole settled down. He still allowed nine hits on the day and was unable to get out of the fifth inning, but those three earned runs were the only ones he allowed. On also struck out seven Rangers’ hitters in 4.2 innings, while walking just one. The outing raised his season ERA to 2.78. 

Luckily for Cole, the Yankees were able to keep the game close against former Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi, who took the ball for the Rangers. 

Eovaldi was solid for much of the day, allowing just four hits while striking out five in 5.2 innings. However, two of those hits were in the 2nd innings, when Eovaldi walked Stanton and then allowed back-to-back doubles to Jake Bauers and DJ Lemahieu, which allowed the Yankees to cut the Rangers’ lead to 3-2. 

Michael King came on to close out the game for the Yankees, allowing one hit and getting two strikeouts en route to his third save of the season. It was a much-needed strong outing for King, who came into the game with a 7.71 ERA, allowing eight runs across 9.1 innings after allowing just six runs in his first 30.2 innings of the season. 

The win moves New York to 43-35 and keeps them 9.5 games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East while remaining a half-game ahead of the Angels for the final AL Wild Card spot. 

The Yankees are off on Monday before beginning a six-game road trip that includes three games in Oakland and three more in St. Louis as the team looks to stay in the playoff race without Judge for potentially another month. 

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