Where to begin.
Down to their last out, Aaron Hicks homered in the 9th to put the Yanks ahead, then in the 10th, made an unbelievable catch to save and end the game as the Yanks (65-35), won a wild, come-from-behind game, 14-12, Tuesday night.
Gary Sanchez, 0 for 5, 0 for his last 18, and 10 for his last 85 (.229), experienced tightness in his left groin, is headed for an MRI and could be headed to the IL.
Brett Gardner missed another game due to a sore knee.
The Yanks struck first, scoring two in the top of the first. Hicks walked, and with one out, Edwin Encarnacion doubled. With two out, Didi Gregorius, who went 5 for 5 with 7 RBI on the night, doubled in two runs.
But Domingo German gave up a run in the second. 2-1 Yankees.
The struggling Sanchez popped up with the bases loaded in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the third, German gave up back-to-back HR to begin the inning. After three innings, it was 3-2 Twins.
German struggled again in the fourth, giving up five runs. A double, a WP, and a single made it 4-2, Twins. Then a flyout. A single. Then his second HBP of the game loaded the bases. A groundout brought in a run. 5-2. Then a 3-run HR. 8-2, and German was finished, probably a batter or a couple of batters too late. David Hale came in, gave up a couple of hits, but then got the third out before any more damage was done.
But German was probably left in a batter or a couple of batters too late. But Boone probably didn’t want to go to the bullpen, because Paxton got knocked out early Sunday and CC knocked out early Monday. This is now three games in a row where the starter had a bad outing. Paxton 3 1/3 Sunday, CC 4 Monday, German 3 2/3 last night. Not good, and it accentuates the need for the Yanks to get pitching help.
You need length from the starters or the bullpen will burn out.
Didi hit a 3-run HR in the fifth (6) to cut the lead to 8-5.
The Twins came right back with a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 9-5.
After seven, it was still 9-5 Twins. Then things got crazy.
In the top of the eighth, the Yanks scored five times to take a 10-9 lead. Gleyber Torres led off the inning with a walk. Gio Urshela doubled him to third. Mike Tauchman doubled, but Urshela couldn’t score, as he tug up in case of the ball being caught. 9-6. After Hicks stuck out, Aaron Judge doubled in two runs to make it 9-8. He missed a HR by maybe a foot or two. After Encarnacion struck out, Luke Voit walked, on a pitch that he probably got a break on. Didi Gregorius then doubled in two runs to give the Yanks a 10-9 lead. Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli was then ejected for arguing balls and strikes, especially on the walk to Voit. Sanchez then grounded out to end the inning and apparently injured his groin in running to first.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Zack Britton gave up a massive, 457 ft. HR to Miguel Sano, a 2-run shot that put the Twins up, 11-10. It was the second HR of the game for Sano.
In the top of the ninth, with two out, Mike Tauchman walked. Hicks hit the first pitch for his 11th HR of the season to put the Yanks up 12-11.
The Twins’ hitting coach got ejected then, also for arguing balls and strikes.
To the bottom of the ninth, where Aroldis Chapman, like Britton the inning before, could not hold the lead. He walked the first three batters of the inning to load the bases. A SF tied the game at 12. A lineout to Hicks couldn’t bring in the winning run. Chapman then got out of the inning with a liner to Didi.
With one out in the top of the tenth, Didi singled, his fifth hit of the night. Austin Romine, in for the injured Sanchez, singled. Gleyber Torres singled to drive in Didi and put the Yanks up 13-12. After Gio Urshela flied out for the second out that couldn’t score the run, Torres stole second. A WP scored Romine to make it 14-12, Yankees.
But that nearly wasn’t enough.
Adam Ottavino got a strikeout to begin the bottom of the tenth, then walked two batters. Then came a forceout for out #2. Another walk loaded the bases, and in came Chad Green.
Max Kepler ripped a shot into the LCF gap that looked like a bases-clearing 3-run double that would give the Twins a 15-14 win, except that Aaron Hicks made a diving catch to end the game.
With the win, the Yanks (65-35) have a 10 game lead over both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox, as the Red Sox have caught the Rays and both are in a virtual tie for second. Boston at 56-46 has a .549 winning percentage, and Tampa Bay at 57-47 is at .548.
Hicks 2 hits, 2 RBI, Game saving catch. Game saving HR (11)
Judge 3 hits, 2 RBI
Encarnacion 2 hits
Voit 2 hits
Gregorius 5 for 5, 7 RBI, 3-run HR (6)
Torres 2 hits, GW RBI
Tauchman 2 hits, RBI
The Yanks banged out 20 hits.
German 3 2/3 IP, 8 R, 9 H, 2 W, 3 K. Gave up 3 HR. 4.03
Hale 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.34
Kahnle 1 IP. 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.75
Britton (BS, 4) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 2.63
Chapman (W, 3-2, 2.56; BS, 5) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 3 W, 0 K.
Ottavino (H, 24) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 W, 1 K. 1.60
Green (S, 1) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.58