MINNEAPOLIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — After the Yankees and Twins pummeled each other’s relievers with one big swing after another, New York center fielder Aaron Hicks dashed and dived for an unforgettable catch to finally end a most memorable game.
Hicks made a game-saving grab for the final out in the 10th inning, Didi Gregorius had five hits and seven RBI, and New York beat Minnesota 14-12 Tuesday night in a game that featured five lead changes or ties in the final three innings.
Just Aaron it out. pic.twitter.com/7yMlhpj6wv
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2019
“That’s one of those games that, for being late July, we’ll probably be talking about for a long time,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
It was the fastest Hicks has run all season on an out he’s recorded, per Statcast.
“That was a do-or-die play,” Hicks said. “That was a play that needed to be made in order for the game to end.”
The Twins were ready to celebrate another late-inning win off the bat of Kepler, who has driven in the winning run in the team’s two walkoff wins this year, including Sunday’s victory against Oakland.
The madness began with New York’s five-run eighth inning for a 10-9 lead. Mike Tauchman had an RBI double, then Judge and Gregorius each added two-run doubles of their own. The inning ended on a sour note for the Yankees however, as Gary Sánchez grounded out and was pulled with a groin injury.
Minnesota’s Miguel Sanó then hit his second homer of the game in the eighth off Zack Britton to put Minnesota ahead 11-10. Hicks answered right back with two outs in the top of the ninth – launching a two-run homer off closer Taylor Rogers.
Nifty Hicksy. pic.twitter.com/jZ3urysZvi
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2019
Aroldis Chapman (3-2) earned the win after blowing his third save in six appearances and his sixth of the season in the ninth inning. Chapman had an embarrassing lack of control and walked the first three batters he faced. Ehire Adrianza scored a tying run on Jorge Polanco’s sacrifice fly – sending the game to the 10th tied at 12.
Gleyber Torres scored Gregorius with an RBI single in the top of the 10th and New York tacked on another run on a wild pitch by Kohl Stewart (2-2). The two-run lead only stood thanks to Hicks’ all-out effort a half-inning later.
Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino walked the bases loaded with two outs, and then Chad Green allowed a drive to Max Kepler into the left-center field gap. Hicks ran it down and caught it with a sprawling, backhanded effort at the warning track, ending the game after an exhausting five hours and three minutes.
The win was even more satisfying for New York, who had been trailing 8-2 in the fourth inning.
Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back home runs for the second straight game in the third. Minnesota has hit nine homers in the first two games of the series.
Gregorius hit the 100th homer of his career. His five hits were a career high, and the seven RBI fell one short of his best, which came against Tampa Bay in 2018.
Yankees starter Domingo Germán allowed eight runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 innings. He was tagged for three homers and ended a three-start winning streak.
Green got his first save of the season.
EJECTION TIMES TWO:
Baldelli and hitting coach James Rowson were both ejected for arguing strike calls by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus. Baldelli’s ejection was the second of his rookie season as manager.
“There were two times where I thought the inning was over and I feel pretty confident about what I saw,” Baldelli said of his ejection in the eighth. “And the inning ended up going on. And the Yankees ended up scoring because of it. Our players, that’s what I’m talking about when I say our players earned something, did their part. They did their jobs. So that’s what’s frustrating about the whole thing.”
Boone said Sánchez will undergo further examination and an MRI. Another trip to the injured list is a possibility and something the Yankees are all too familiar with this season.
OF Brett Gardner was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a sore left knee. Boone said Gardner was available late in the game, but he did not play.
OF Cameron Maybin started his rehab assignment from a left calf strain as the designated hitter for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Maybin went 4-for-5 with a home run.
J.A. Happ (8-5, 4.86 ERA) starts the series finale Wednesday. The left-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)