Judge's 2 HRs not enough on special night

August 13th, 2021

DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- Surveying the gorgeous ballpark carved into lush farmland adjacent to the famed “Field of Dreams” movie set, harbored just one complaint. The Yankees star wished he could extend his Hawkeye State visit and take aim at the cornfield a few more times.

Judge marked the occasion by homering twice, setting the stage for 's go-ahead blast in the ninth inning, but the Yankees absorbed yet another heartbreaking blow in a season that has seen far too many. Zack Britton served up Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run as the Yankees fell, 9-8, to the White Sox on Thursday in the first AL/NL game played in Iowa.

“We came back and almost gave them a terrible loss,” Stanton said. “But you never want the game to finish like that, especially battling back. But we’re still in this series, and we need this series.”

Having spent half a day in Iowa, the clubs will now return to Chicago to continue their three-game set on Saturday. The Yankees trailed by three runs heading to the ninth, when Tyler Wade greeted closer Liam Hendriks with a single and Judge pelted the corn beyond the right-center-field wall with a two-run, two-out blast, capping a five-RBI night for the slugger.

After Joey Gallo walked, Stanton launched a drive to left, celebrating what he called “an awesome moment for me” as left fielder Leury García crashed against the wall. But Chicago had the final turn at bat, and manager Aaron Boone turned to Britton, who issued a one-out walk before Anderson connected on the deciding blast.

In a game that began with actor Kevin Costner handing the field over to the players, cinema took hold as fireworks filled the sky over center field, lighting the White Sox delirious celebration.

“That ruined it a little bit, honestly,” Boone said. “We’re here with business to do and these games are huge. It’s tough to walk in here after a tough loss, after it looked like you stole it back. But that said, it was as special and breathtaking a setting for a baseball game that I can ever remember being a part of.”

Until the end, the Yanks had enjoyed the afternoon immensely -- everything from their ride through small-town Americana to inspecting the smallest details of the 8,000-seat ballpark to their private tour of the diamond and farmhouse immortalized by the 1989 film.

“It felt like we were a college football team driving to the field today, with fans lined up on the side of the road just hoping to get a glimpse of us,” Brett Gardner said.

Yankees starter Andrew Heaney wore the loss heavily, saying that he had not given the team an opportunity to win. The hard-hitting White Sox pelted the left-hander for three homers; José Abreu cracked a first-inning blast and Eloy Jiménez slugged a three-run homer to highlight a four-run third inning.

Seby Zavala hit a two-run shot in the fourth off Heaney, who has permitted 15 runs and 15 hits in 15 innings (9.00 ERA) since being acquired from the Angels.

“I’m giving up a lot of runs and not getting a lot of outs,” Heaney said. “I’m not making good pitches. It’s very, very frustrating.”

Gardner hit a sixth-inning homer off Lance Lynn, who permitted four runs and four hits over five-plus frames.

Despite the unsatisfactory conclusion, the Yankees spoke warmly of their overall experience in Dyersville -- an opportunity that players figure to have again, as Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Dyersville will host big league ball again in 2022.

“Just a first-class experience all the way around,” Gardner said. “I’ve never been here in the state of Iowa, so it was a beautiful, beautiful countryside. I thought the ballpark and the atmosphere and the old field over there was really special to be a part of. It was something we had been looking forward to for a long time. It didn’t disappoint.”

Walking through the outfield before the game, Stanton stashed stalks of corn in the pockets of his uniform pants, his personal souvenirs of the experience. Stanton promised to keep those in a safe place, even though he would have much preferred if his well-timed homer had held up as the deciding blow.

“This just felt different from anything I’ve experienced,” Stanton said. “It’s definitely up there in the special experiences I’ve had in baseball.”