NEW YORK -- The big league landscape is populated by a number of teams that are considered challenged in the slugging department, for which a five-run deficit would offer the temptation to call it an early evening. Not so for the Yankees, who viewed the early hole as an invitation
NEW YORK -- The big league landscape is populated by a number of teams that are considered challenged in the slugging department, for which a five-run deficit would offer the temptation to call it an early evening. Not so for the Yankees, who viewed the early hole as an invitation to flex their muscle.
Gary Sanchez completed the comeback with a mammoth game-tying blast in the eighth and Giancarlo Stanton celebrated his first signature moment in pinstripes with a walk-off shot in the ninth, enveloped by his teammates at home plate as they celebrated a memorable 7-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
"We wear the pitchers down, man," Stanton said. "The score doesn't matter until the game's over. Just wear 'em down, wear 'em down. We've always got a chance. We had some outs left. It showed tonight."
• 'Signature moment!' Stanton hits epic walk-off HR
The Yankees improved to a season-high 27 games over .500 as they posted their 23rd come-from-behind victory, securing their 16th win in 20 games. Sanchez brought a sold-out crowd of 46,047 to its collective feet in the eighth inning, launching an Alex Colome cutter a Statcast™-projected 439 feet to the back of the left-field bullpen for his 14th homer.
"As you all know, we have a really good lineup, really good hitters," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "The way I see it, five runs is not going to be enough."
The Yankees had to rally after rookie Jonathan Loaisiga was bounced early from his second big league start, with a noisy fourth inning prompting manager Aaron Boone to call upon reliever Chasen Shreve with two out. A Torres throwing error after Span's single of Loaisiga sent Kyle Seager home with the first run and, with Boone preferring a left-on-left matchup, Dee Gordon greeted Shreve with a two-run single. Both runs were charged to Loaisiga.
Span and Ryon Healy added fifth-inning RBIs against Shreve, whose two innings tied his season high. Loaisiga was charged with three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings, coming off a scoreless outing in a victory on Friday in his debut against the Rays.
"My fastball command wasn't where I wanted; same with breaking pitches," Loaisiga said through an interpreter. "I felt good. Now it's just a matter of keep working, keep improving. I'll work for the next start and be ready for that."
Aaron Judge put New York on the board with a two-run single in the fifth off Felix Hernandez, who scattered six hits with a walk and six strikeouts over five frames. Clint Frazier legged out a hustle double and scored on Gregorius' sac fly facing James Pazos in the seventh, while Jonathan Holder retired seven of eight batters he faced in an excellent outing.
"With our team and our ability to strike when it seems like we're down, having a great bullpen who will hold it there or preserve leads when we have them is huge," Boone said. "In a big way, it's how we're built."
In the ninth, Gregorius roped a two-out single before Stanton demolished an 0-2 slider for his 18th homer, a 453-foot rocket that marked the Yankees' third walk-off homer of the season.
"Fighting until the very end, that's what we showed tonight, especially getting down to a good team like that," Judge said. "With the offense they have and the pitching staff, that's a tough hill to climb. We just kept fighting, kept having quality at-bats, kept chipping away and Gary came up with the big knock for us, 'G' sent us home."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sanchez has been barreling balls without enjoying much in the way of results over the past couple of days, but the reward came in the eighth, marking his second homer in four games after going homerless in his previous 18 contests. Sanchez's homer off Colome came on a 1-1, 90.9-mph cutter.
"It definitely felt good right there to be able to tie the game," Sanchez said. "It's been tough, but I never put my head down. It's always a matter of just keep working. Definitely, I've felt better. I've been hitting the ball better. It's being more consistent."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Yankees batters, per Statcast™, had five hits with exit velocities of at least 110 mph on Wednesday: Sanchez's single in the second inning (113.8), Stanton's single in the fourth (119.4), Judge's single in the seventh (115.8), Sanchez's homer in the eighth (111.2) and Stanton's walk-off homer (117.9). They have 74 such hits for the season; the next closest team is the White Sox, who have 40.
HE SAID IT
"It better have gone out, because I stood there for a little bit trying to get the team out [of the dugout]. I figured even if not, it was enough to get Didi around the bases." -- Stanton
The Yankees will send their ace to the mound seeking the sweep on Thursday, with right-hander Luis Severino (10-2, 2.09 ERA) completing their homestand with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Mariners' James Paxton (6-1, 3.53 ERA). Severino hurled a gem in his last outing, striking out nine Rays over eight scoreless innings as he became the third 10-game winner in the Majors. New York has won 13 of Severino's 15 starts this season.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.