It’s hard to top a five-run rally when you’re down to your last out, but Deivi Garcia and the Yankees came close when they finished off a sweep of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Mets.
The Yankees followed up their 8-7, eight-inning win with a 5-2, eight-inning victory in the nightcap behind six dazzling innings from Garcia in his much-anticipated major league debut and a pinch-hit grand slam by the struggling Gary Sanchez in the top of the eighth off Drew Smith, with the Yankees serving as the road team in the second game — a makeup of last week’s postponement.
It was redemption for Sanchez, who has had a brutal season and looked especially bad in the first game.
The Mets rallied in the bottom of the eighth of Game 2, scoring a run and bringing pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos to the plate with the bases loaded, but Luis Cessa struck him out to end it.
The 21-year-old Garcia retired the first nine batters he faced — five by strikeout — before Jeff McNeil opened the bottom of the fourth with a single.
In the opener, the Yankees were one out away from their eighth loss in nine games when they scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game on Aaron Hicks’ two-out, two-run homer off Mets closer Edwin Diaz.
In the eighth, Gio Urshela’s two-out single off Diaz drove in Mike Tauchman — who started the inning on second — with the winning run after Chad Green’s scoreless top of the inning.
“Usually you don’t win many of those,’’ Aaron Boone said of the comeback in the first game. “The guys continued to battle with good at-bats at the end.”
Urshela started the game on the bench after sitting out since Wednesday with a bone spur in his elbow, but he entered in the top of the seventh.
He lined a shot to right and Michael Conforto made a strong throw home, but it was a bit up the line and Tauchman dove in under Wilson Ramos’ tag attempt.
The rally started against Jared Hughes, pitching for a third consecutive day. An error by Andres Gimenez at third added to the Mets’ woes. Hughes issued a two-out walk to Tyler Wade and then hit Thairo Estrada, who replaced DJ LeMahieu in the top of the inning.
Luke Voit singled through the right side of the infield on a check swing and Estrada should have been out at third, but Gimenez dropped the ball and Estrada was safe.
“With the hit batter and Voit check-swinging it to the other side, the table was set for something strange to happen there,’’ Boone said.
Luis Rojas went to Diaz to face the struggling Hicks. After Diaz’s wild pitch allowed Estrada to score, Hicks tied the game with a two-run shot to right.
“Hicks can really hit a fastball,’’ Boone said of Hicks, who left the nightcap with tightness in both calves. “He’s been battling and finally got to a good heater and put a great swing on it.”
And after Green tossed a scoreless top of the eighth, Diaz lost it.
Rojas said Diaz didn’t have his slider, which made him “a one-pitch guy. That’s when they went after the fastball.”
Still, Rojas said he has faith in his closer.
“We still trust him,’’ Rojas said of Diaz. “We still love his stuff. And that’s when he’s going to get the ball, when there’s tight situations.”
The Mets were poised for their fourth win in five games, as Rick Porcello allowed two runs in five innings for a team that had its bullpen take a hit with Dellin Betances and Steven Matz both placed on the injured list before the first game.
Michael King, making his second major league start, was strong until the fourth, when the Mets strung together five singles — including four in a row. Only Pete Alonso’s RBI liner to center was struck well, including a flair by Davis to lead off the frame and a bloop by Jeff McNeil to load the bases after Alonso tied the game at 1-1 with a sharp hit to center.
A Ramos liner to right drove in Cano to give the Mets their first lead.
The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Tauchman drew a one-out walk and scored on Ford’s double to left that Smith got turned around on twice.
But with two outs in the fifth, Cano took Kriske deep to right-center, to make it 4-2.