With the Yankees in a rut, it seemed like this Twins game would be now or never. No, they wouldn’t have been eliminated or anything with a loss, but it was against a bad team who they’ve owned. Then, at the outset of the matinee, Minnesota starter John Gant had to leave the game with an injury after just 0.2 innings. It was a chance to get a win to hopefully build something on. After all, the 13-game win streak wasn’t started by the Twins, but it contained a bunch of wins over them.
For most of the game, it felt like the Yankees were taking the “never” option. Luis Gil had another bad game, allowing five runs — all on home runs — in six innings. The Yankees’ offense didn’t manage a hit of their own until the fifth inning, by which time they were already down, 5-0.
New York slowly chipped away at that five-run advantage, but it seemed to be too little, too late, as they were still losing, 5-2, down to their last four outs. Enter a glimmer of hope that the team can still wake up.
Aaron Judge tied the game with a big three-run home run in the eighth, and two innings later, Gary Sánchez won it with a walk-off single. Despite mostly being outplayed all afternoon long, the Yankees came away with a much-needed 6-5 win ... and some hope.
While Gil was dinged with three runs allowed during his previous outing on Wednesday, he had already departed the game when they scored, so no one had technically crossed home plate against Gil while he was still on the mound. It didn’t take long for to render that fun fact obsolete. With one out and a runner on first in the top of the first inning, Jorge Polanco homered, giving the Twins an early lead. A couple batters later after a walk, Miguel Sanó added another two-run shot, officially ending the Gil honeymoon period.
Two innings later, right after yet another inning-ending double play in a season full of them, Byron Buxton added yet another blast, this one only a solo shot, increasing Minnesota’s lead even more. Gil hadn’t allowed a single extra-base hit through his first four starts, but the Twins got to him for three long balls in outing No. 5.
At the very least, Gil somewhat settled down after that to make it through the sixth, but the Yankees’ offense was also quite settled. Their first hit didn’t arrive until a drag-bunt single by Joey Gallo in the fifth, and it took another inning after that to get onto the board.
Even that elusive run came in one of the more annoying ways possible. Tyler Wade led off the sixth with a walk and then used his speed to make things happen. He stole second, and then tagged up to advance to third on a fly ball. DJ LeMahieu then hit a ball to deep right field. It probably wasn’t going over the fence, but it certainly looked like it had potential extra bases written all over it, only for Max Kepler to make a leaping catch at the wall. While LeMahieu was robbed of a hit, Wade was able to tag up and score on the play. New York was on the board, but things still seemed to be drifting away from them.
Gil didn’t come back out for the seventh inning, as Andrew Heaney came in, and....it didn’t go terribly? He threw a scoreless seventh and got two more outs in the eighth before being removed. Heaney did allow a couple runners in the eighth, but it didn’t come back to haunt him, as Albert Abreu came in and finished things off.
In the seventh, the Yankees chipped away more thanks to Joey Gallo. He had been quickly erased on a double play after registering the Yankees’ first hit, but this time, he did all the work himself, hitting a solo homer:
In the eighth, the Yankees rolled the dice by sending up Anthony Rizzo as a pinch-hitter for Wade. That worked out, as he drew a walk, but the next two Yankees made outs and it seemed like it would be another start of a rally without a finish. However, Brett Gardner drew a walk to keep the inning alive and bring Judge to the plate.
Just last night, Judge had to leave the game early after dealing with dizziness. Well, he seems to be better now. He took an Alex Colomé pitch over the wall in right, tying the game out of absolutely nowhere.
After all that, the Yankees called on Aroldis Chapman for the ninth. That got nervy after he allowed a two-out double, but he managed to get through the inning and give the Yankee bats a chance at a walk-off win. They couldn’t get that done in the ninth, and we were off to Manfredball.
Clay Holmes survived the 10th with a very impressive inning, though the last out was an adventure with Judge and Gardner dealing with some slight miscommunication on a fly ball:
Gio Urshela led off the bottom of the 10th with a bunt attempt, but that was poorly conceived. Despite falling behind 0-2, he still tried to lay one down, but fouled it off to strike out. That brought Sánchez to the plate. The Yankees’ catcher delivered with a single, giving the Yankees a win, and ending an unfortunate streak.
Yankees: 1 win when trailing by 4+ runs this season https://t.co/FPonZDTMUj— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) September 13, 2021
This was exactly the type of emotional, comeback win you would hope could kickstart another good run. Now, we just have to wait and see if the Yankees can actually do it.
Next up, the Yankees travel down to Baltimore, seeking vengeance for their embarrassing home series loss to the Orioles over Labor Day Weekend. Gerrit Cole will make his return to the mound tomorrow after hamstring tightness curtailed his last outing on Tuesday, and he’ll face lefty Alexander Wells. First pitch is at 7:05pm ET.