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Yankees 5, Tigers 4: Donaldson walks it off in the tenth

The Yankees won a back-and-forth affair to finish off the sweep.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

For the first two games of this series, the Yankees were a delight to watch. Today, things were a little more frustrating. At several points, the Yankees had the game tied, or had the lead, and lost it. Fortunately, the Yankees managed to squeak out a win and sweep the Tigers.

Starter Jordan Montgomery cruised for the first three innings, as was to be expected against a weak Detroit lineup. In the top of the fourth, though, Montgomery got into trouble. Miguel Cabrera, the offensive catalyst for the Tigers today, worked a one-out walk. Javier Báez followed with a double to center field, and Cabrera used all of his aging speed to score from first. A truly awe-inspiring sight.

Daz Cameron singled home Báez when the ball deflected off of Gleyber Torres. By the end of the frame, the Yankees trailed 2-0.

The deficit wouldn’t last too long. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a looping single to right field with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. IKF tried to steal second on a strikeout of Trevino and was initially called out. Aaron Boone challenged and the call was overturned, a decision which proved crucial. The next at-bat, Joey Gallo swung mightily and connected for a two-run homer, tying the game at two runs apiece.

Alex Lange came on in relief of former Yankee farmhand Rony García and promptly retired the side in the bottom of the sixth. Boone pulled Monty after he struck out the first batter of the seventh for Clarke Schmidt. Schmidt immediately struck out Cameron, but walked Haase. Derek Hill ended the inning by flying out to right.

Torres led with a single off of Lange in the bottom of the seventh. The Yankees ran a hit-and-run, with Torres reaching second and IKF reaching first. Matt Carpenter managed a pinch-hit walk to load the bases and set up a huge chance.

With the bases loaded, Lange struck out Gallo on three pitches, but walked DJ LeMahieu on four pitches to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Michael Fulmer entered the game in relief and struck out Judge with three pitches to end the inning. The Yankees had the advantage, but failed to blow the game open.

Schmidt stayed on to start the inning, but allowed a double to Willi Castro to open things. Schmidt popped up the next batter, and Boone lifted him for the often-wild Miguel Castro. Castro struck out of Schoop, but Cabrera hit a 98-mph sinker for a single to tie the game. Báez singled and brought home another run after Rizzo was unable to handle the ball, though the Yankees caught Báez in a rundown to end the inning.

Fulmer came out again in the bottom of the eighth, and started the inning by hitting Rizzo. Shockingly, Rizzo stole second and was able to advance to third on a bad throw. Rizzo came home on a Torres dribbler along the third base line.

The game was once again tied, with both teams with four runs. Hicks proceeded to pop up a ball to third base for the second out. The Tigers intentionally walked IKF to get to Higgy, and Higashioka obliged by popping up to end the inning.

The Yankees had a chance to walk it off right away in the ninth, sending some of their best hitters to the plate. Gregory Soto entered the game to try to hold the game for the Tigers, and Boone lifted Gallo for Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately, Stanton struck out swinging at a 98mph fastball. LeMahieu flied out to center field. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the score all tied up, Judge came to the plate and struck out.

Michael King entered the game for the Yankees in the top of the tenth inning and managed to keep the score tied. In the bottom of the tenth, Soto remained on the mound for the Tigers. Judge entered the inning on second, with Rizzo at the plate. Rizzo managed a single, which moved Judge to third. Donaldson hit a ball deep to left field to score Judge on a sacrifice fly. Not the most scintillating way to end a game, but an effective one nonetheless.

The Yankees made it hard on themselves, failing to open up the game when they had opportunities to, and blowing the leads they found themselves in possession of. Ultimately, though, they found a way to win, much as they’ve done all season. They’ve now put together consecutive sweeps and are on a six-game roll. They’ll take that streak into an off-day tomorrow, before taking on the Twins in Minnesota on Tuesday.

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