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Giancarlo Stanton, Austin Romine help Yankees to thrilling 7-5 victory

Four RBI from Stanton and a clutch home run from Romine gave the Yankees what they needed for their eighth straight win.

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What started as a pitches’ duel ended up a home-run derby, as the New York Yankees and Houston Astros traded leads and comebacks in what ended up as a 7-5 Yankees win.

The game began with virtuoso performances from Masahiro Tanaka and Wade Miley. The Astros put runners on in the first three innings thanks to four hits, but Tanaka got out of trouble with weak contact and flashy defense from Gio Urshela and Luke Voit. Miley, on the other hand, struck out four Yankees the first time through the order and did not allow a hit.

While Tanaka kept the Yankees in it with clean fourth and fifth innings, Miley still held the Yankees hitless into the fifth frame. That’s when things changed in a big way. After Aaron Hicks walked, Urshela cracked a two-run home run over the right field wall to give the Yankees a 2-0 edge. The no-hit bid was gone, and the Yankees had the lead.

As the short pitch giveth, though, sometimes the short porch taketh away. After Yordan Alvarez singled, Josh Reddick golfed a splitter tumbling out of the zone into the right-field seats, tying the game right back up at two. The Astros looked poised for more after Max Stassi hit a ball off the wall, but Aaron Judge gunned him down with his trademark cannon arm to end the inning and avoid further damage.

The Yankees weren’t squaring Miley up, but that doesn’t matter if he doesn’t throw strikes. He walked DJ LeMahieu and Judge to lead off the sixth inning, and Voit followed with a bloop single to load the bases with no outs. With Giancarlo Stanton due up next, Miley was removed and Will Harris came in.

Stanton came through with a hard-hit, two-run single, making it a 4-2 ballgame. Harris rebounded, getting the next three batters out, which proved vital. With a depleted bullpen, Aaron Boone had to turn to Jonathan Holder to pitch the seventh inning, and the gamble did not pay off.

Holder got two quick outs, but two straight singles kept the inning alive, and Yordan Alvarez made him pay. The rookie clubbed a three-run dinger to give Houston the 5-4 lead. Holder was an inch away from getting the call on a potential inning-ending strikeout, but it went for a ball and Alvarez homered on Holder’s next offering.

The Yankees, however, picked up their struggling pitcher. Austin Romine smashed a line drive down the right field line, barely clearing the wall and tying the game at five apiece. It was only Romine’s second home run of the year, and just the third home run that Ryan Pressly had allowed this season.

The Yankees didn’t stop there. After LeMahieu singled and Judge reached on catcher’s interference, Stanton did the job again with a near-carbon copy of his sixth-inning single. It scored both runners and the Yankees had reclaimed the two-run lead, helped in large part by Stanton’s four RBI.

After bringing in Holder in the seventh, Boone didn’t mess around in the eighth and ninth, calling on Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton to shut the door. It wasn’t easy, as the Astros put the tying run in scoring position in the ninth, but the Yankees picked up their eighth straight win. Meanwhile, the Astros have lost seven in a row.

The Yankees will go for the sweep in tomorrow’s finale. First, it’ll be Old-Timers’ Day in the morning, followed by J.A. Happ vs. Justin Verlander at 2 p.m.