The second half of the season continues to go pretty well for the Yankees. The Yankees didn't quite get the offensive outburst that they got yesterday. But like yesterday, they got a good starting pitching effort. Hiroki Kuroda was solid over his 6.2 innings. Unfortunately for him, the Yankees' bullpen couldn't quite hold on to the slim lead the offense gave him. The Reds came back to tie the game late, meaning the Yankees would need a walk-off win. Which they would get. Jacoby Ellsbury, Ellsbury's speed, Brian McCann and some Reds defensive miscues combined to give the Yankees a 3-2 walk-off win.
Early on, both teams struggled at bringing home baserunners. They both had chances early, but neither team could cash in until the Reds did in the fifth. Zack Cosart reached to start the top of the fifth when Brian Roberts booted a grounder. Kuroda then nearly got out of it. He got one out on a bunt by Ramon Santiago and another when he got Billy Hamilton to pop out. But Skip Schumaker hit a ground-rule double that scored a run and made it 1-0 Reds.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Yankees finally got some offense going themselves. With one out in the inning, Kelly Johnson and Brett Gardner drew back-to-back walks. Derek Jeter then singled to right. That scored Johnson and tied the game at one. Ellsbury then picked up a single himself. Gardner scored, Jeter moved to third and the Yankees had the lead.
Kuroda continued through the sixth and started the seventh. After he got the first two outs in the seventh, Girardi elected to go to the bullpen. Hirok went 6.2 innings, allowing one run (an unearned one, thanks Roberts) on three hits and two walks while striking out six. Dellin Betances came in to finish off the inning for Kuroda. Betances allowed a single to Santiago but struck out Hamilton to end the inning.
After the Yankees had a RISP fail in the seventh, Betances came back out to pitch the top of the eighth. He allowed a single to Schumaker, but picked him off for the first out. Todd Frazier was up next. On one pitch, Frazier made contact with a ball and looked to have popped it up in the outfield, but it kept floating and floating and went over the left field wall for a game-tying home run. Although Betances got the last two outs, they were now tied at two. David Robertson came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning after the Yankees couldn't take a lead in the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch for the Reds. The first Yankee batter he faced was Ellsbury. After a really good nine-pitch at bat, Ellsbury punched a lead-off single through the left side. Mark Teixeira came up next. During Teixeria's at bat, Ellsbury stole second, and then a couple pitches later, Ellsbury made it to third on a wild pitch. Teixeira wound up striking out for the first out. McCann came up next. On the second pitch of the at bat, McCann popped one up towards first. The longer it floated, the more it looked like no one was going to catch it. And then: no one did catch it. It dropped in and Ellsbury scampered home for the winning run. It wasn't quite Luis Castillo, but then again what is? The Yankees came away with a 3-2 win. Weird game, weird way to win, weird sweep.
The Rangers will now come to the Bronx for a series starting tomorrow. The starters for the first game will be Shane Greene and Miles Mikolas and first pitch will be at 7:05 eastern.