The Yankees rewrote the record books with long-ball prowess during an unforgettable homestand, and now their remarkable surge is continuing on the road. Down to their final out, Gary Sánchez launched a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth before Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu delivered big hits
The Yankees rewrote the record books with long-ball prowess during an unforgettable homestand, and now their remarkable surge is continuing on the road. Down to their final out, Gary Sánchez launched a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth before Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu delivered big hits in extras, powering an improbable comeback.
Sánchez cleared the Green Monster with a ninth-inning laser, and Voit’s run-scoring 11th-inning knock gave the Yanks their first lead of the night. LeMahieu ripped a go-ahead double one inning later as the Yankees surged for a 6-5, 12-inning victory on Friday evening at Fenway Park, their ninth consecutive win.
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“We’re playing like we should be playing,” LeMahieu said. “This is the kind of team, the kind of competitiveness, everyone clicking on all cylinders. We knew what we were capable of and we're definitely playing that way right now.”
The Yankees improved to 8-0 against Boston this year and have won 11 straight against their archrivals dating to last season, one shy of their best streak. The victory moved the Yankees (30-21) ahead of the Twins (31-22) for the No. 4 seed and home-field advantage in the Wild Card Series round.
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“It was definitely a grind,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I give our guys a lot of credit for continuing to compete and really being energized in the second half of the game, continuing to grind away and find a way back in it.”
Jonathan Loaisiga pinned the bases loaded after permitting Christian Arroyo’s game-tying single in the 11th. Helped by a strong Aaron Hicks throw from deep center field in the 12th, Loaisiga earned the victory in the Yankees’ longest game of the year in terms of both innings and time (four hours and 55 minutes).
“It was definitely a difficult inning in the 11th,” Loaisiga said through an interpreter. “[Sánchez] went out there and spoke about how we were going to attack those guys. Gary was really, really good behind the plate.”
Fresh off a sweep of the Blue Jays in which they clubbed 19 homers to set a Major League record for a three-game span, the Yanks’ bats were near-silent through six innings against left-hander Martín Pérez, then stirred in the seventh.
His slumbering bat showing signs of life after last week’s benching, Sánchez greeted right-hander Marcus Walden with a two-run double that hopped the right-field wall, halving the deficit. Boone said that Sánchez’s swings seem to be “considerably better” since the unwanted respite.
“That's my job as a catcher,” Sánchez said through an interpreter. “Every time I go out there, I want to do my job on both sides of the ball. I feel great to be able to contribute and help the team.”
Giancarlo Stanton doubled home Aaron Judge in the eighth, bringing the Yanks within a run. Both teams left runners at third base in the 10th, with Aroldis Chapman struggling to harness his fastball before pitching out a jam.
As a chilly autumnal wind whipped the flags in center field, Voit laced a run-scoring single in the 11th that sent Mike Tauchman dashing home, producing a short-lived lead.
“There were a lot of big situations, especially the last couple of hours of that night,” Boone said. “There were a lot of big pitches on both sides, big at-bats on both sides.”
Gone from the game hours before its conclusion, left-hander Jordan Montgomery permitted four runs in 4 2/3 frames, snapping a string of 12 games in which Yankees starters had limited opponents to three earned runs or fewer.
Arroyo cleared the Green Monster with a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his third blast of the year, and Christian Vázquez greeted reliever Luis Cessa with a run-scoring double that was charged to Montgomery.
“There was a lot of soft contact, so I'm pretty happy with it,” Montgomery said. “I struck out seven guys; I just had to get a couple extra outs out there. With a good lineup like that, you can't give away any free outs.”
Despite the early deficit, LeMahieu said there was no panic or slumped shoulders in the visitors' dugout. The Yanks have outscored opponents by a 72-20 margin over their win streak, and LeMahieu said that fuels belief that no game is out of reach.
“A couple of weeks ago, 4-0 felt like 20-0,” LeMahieu said. “Tonight, it felt very within reach. I just think it's the confidence we have, the way we've been swinging it. It makes it a lot of fun.”
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.