'Hungry, scrappy' Yankees walk off, stay hot

LaMarre's pinch-hit single in 10th sends New York to 9th win in 12 games

July 22nd, 2021

NEW YORK -- The resilient Yankees continue to roll, sparked by a new-look lineup with an appealing blend of power and speed -- just in time for another crucial weekend showdown against the Red Sox.

Ryan LaMarre belted a pinch-hit RBI single in the 10th inning as the Yankees rallied for their fourth consecutive win, overcoming an eighth-inning bullpen meltdown in a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Phillies on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium that completed a sweep of the two-game Interleague series.

“Everyone’s hungry, scrappy,” said New York designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, who contributed an RBI single. “We’re getting it done in different ways than we’re accustomed to. It’s good to get a new look. Some guys in here are just playing like it’s their last game every time.”

The Bombers’ seventh walk-off win of the year was produced with a rally in the 10th, starting with Gleyber Torres dropping a sacrifice bunt against left-hander Ranger Suárez to move automatic runner Gary Sánchez to third base. Batting for Brett Gardner, LaMarre lifted a fly ball over a five-man infield to deep right field and was then mobbed by his teammates.

LaMarre said that he’d been ribbed by Gardner for having his full pinstripes on at 5:30 p.m. ET, more than 90 minutes before first pitch. By the last pitch, that jersey was destroyed, several members of the Yankees having clawed mercilessly at its buttons.

“Not many people get a chance to wear the uniform, let alone get a chance to come through and get a walk-off hit,” LaMarre said. “I just thank God for the opportunity. I've been through a lot in this game, as a lot of people have. To have the moments like these, you just try to soak them in. It keeps you going, honestly."

Brooks Kriske picked up his first Major League win in relief after Zack Britton and Nick Nelson couldn't preserve a three-run lead in the eighth. Torres booted a Rhys Hoskins grounder to open the inning, and Britton walked two hitters before Luke Williams greeted Nelson with a two-run single. Nelson later bounced a changeup for a wild pitch that tied the game at 5.

“We were up against it in a lot of ways today,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Having some guys down, we’re relying on other guys to step up. They were probably a little bit on fumes out there tonight. It was a tough, hard win, with a lot of people contributing.”

Facing Héctor Neris in the seventh, Stanton delivered a go-ahead RBI single and Rougned Odor followed with a long two-run homer, building New York’s first lead, a 5-2 advantage. Torres also homered for the third time in four games, while Greg Allen hit an RBI double.

“That’s a big one, to go back and forth,” Stanton said. “These are the ones we’ve got to scrape out. We've let some go like this. I think that's a good sign, that we were able to get this one.”

On the hill
Spot starter Asher Wojciechowski limited the Phillies to two runs over four innings, touched by Jean Segura for a first-pitch leadoff homer and by Bryce Harper’s third-inning RBI double. Wojciechowski held Philadelphia hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The assignment was meaningful for the 32-year-old Wojciechowski. He was knocked around for six runs in 1 2/3 innings by the Yankees last Sept. 11 at Yankee Stadium, shortly before the Orioles designated the right-hander for assignment.

“A lot of the guys from [Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre] are here and bringing a lot of juice, a lot of energy,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s good to see. Guys are excited, getting an opportunity and taking advantage of it. It’s a lot of fun to be around.”

Boone said that right-hander Chad Green was unavailable, given a workload that has been “a little heavy for him lately.” Green threw 29 pitches on Sunday vs. Boston, then 13 on Tuesday vs. Philadelphia. Left-hander Aroldis Chapman navigated a scoreless ninth despite a fingernail issue on his pitching hand that affected his control.

Shipping up
Having won nine of their past 12 games, the Yankees will now renew acquaintances with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Yanks won two of three against Boston this past weekend in the Bronx.

“There's no denying the importance of it,” Boone said. “It's a tough road trip. We're playing good baseball, but we understand the importance and the urgency of every day, especially this time of the year. We look forward to that challenge.”

With six players on the COVID-19 injured list -- plus first baseman Luke Voit (left knee inflammation) on the 10-day IL -- the Yankees feature a much different roster than the one that was swept in a three-game series at Fenway from June 25-27.

“Things are clicking, and the energy is obviously different,” Stanton said. “I just think with a bunch of new guys, new looks, the play will be different out there. It’s a matter of keeping it rolling on this road trip and keep feeding off it.”