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Yankees 9, Rangers 7: Didi Gregorius caps off Yankees' late rally with a walk-off home run


Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping three games in a row, the Yankees turned to Masahiro Tanaka to stop the bleeding tonight. He didn't have a great outing, and early on it looked like the offense would not pick him up. The Yankees were trailing by four runs heading into the ninth inning, when the offense mounted their typical late-inning rally. This time, instead of falling just short, they were able to walk off with the victory.

Things didn't go Tanaka's way from the very beginning. In the first inning, he struck out the first two batters he faced, and was cruising towards an easy inning when Nomar Mazara reached on a missed catch error by Rob Refsnyder. The Rangers scored in the second after Prince Fielder doubled and Elvis Andrus knocked in the run. Tanaka surrendered back-to-back singles in the third inning before walking Ian Desmond to load the bases before Mazara hit a three-run double. Fielder also hit an RBI single before the inning ended. In the sixth, the Rangers tacked on another run when Rougned Odor hit a solo shot to left field. Tanaka's night came to an end after the sixth inning, and when all was said and done, he gave up six runs on eight hits, walked a batter and notched seven strikeouts.

Luis Cessa took over in the seventh inning and stayed in for the remainder of the game. He worked three easy outs, then gave up a lead-off home run to Adrian Beltre in the eighth. Cessa walked a batter in the ninth, but was able to stay out of trouble despite a throwing error by Brian McCann.

As for the Yankees, they struggled to get anything going against Nick Martinez. The only run scored during the first five innings was a home run off the bat of Chase Headley. In the sixth inning, McCann worked a lead-off walk, then Starlin Castro singled to left. Headley was able to hit a sac fly to drive in the run. The Yankees tacked on another run in the eighth after McCann hit a bomb to right field. With one out, the Yankees threatened when Castro and Gregorius both singled, but Headley and Hicks left the runners stranded.

Refsnyder started off the ninth inning rally when he hit a single to shallow center field. Next, Sam Dyson walked Jacoby Ellsbury. Gardner singled to left, and the Yankees were going to hold Refsnyder up at third, but the outfielder bobbled the catch so Refsnyder was able to score. Alex Rodriguez then hit the ball hard, but right at Odor. It didn't matter, because McCann was up next and he hit a no-doubter to right field to tie the game. After Castro worked a walk, Gregorius came to the plate and hit the first walk-off home run of his career. For once, the Yankees' late-inning rally paid off in exciting fashion.

The Yankees will send Michael Pineda to the mound tomorrow afternoon to try and split the series. Pineda will square off against A.J. Griffin at 1:05 EST.