The Yankees made up one game in the AL East standings after a walk-off single finished off the Phillies in the 10th inning.
The Yankees got the Red Sox-garbed monkey off their back last weekend, but still only made up one game in the AL East.
Now they have another golden chance to put a dent in the division lead this weekend in Boston — and picked up some extra wind in their sails before leaving The Bronx on Wednesday night.
The shorthanded Yankees coughed up a three-run lead late but still found a way to win a fourth straight game, beating the Phillies, 6-5, on a walk-off single from Ryan LaMarre in the 10th inning.
With Gary Sanchez starting the bottom of the 10th on second base, Gleyber Torres moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt. LaMarre then pinch-hit for Brett Gardner against left-hander Ranger Suarez, with the Phillies switching to a five-man infield.
It was of little use, though, as LaMarre roped a fly ball on the first pitch he saw. It landed on the warning track in right field to score Sanchez and set off a wild celebration in the infield.
“The Railbirds are here and we’re having fun,” LaMarre said of the Yankees’ Scranton-infused roster — on a night when fellow recent call-ups Estevan Florial, Greg Allen, Asher Wojciechowski and Brooks Kriske also contributed to the win.
With their ninth win in the past 12 games, the Yankees (50-44) kept pace with the Red Sox and left for Boston trailing by seven games in the AL East.
The last time the Yankees went to Boston, they were also flying high, having cut the division lead to four games as winners of seven of nine — only to get swept by the Sox last month. They’ll return playing a different brand of baseball, largely out of necessity thanks to an injection of speed and youth from their Triple-A call-ups after the team’s COVID-19 outbreak.
“Everyone’s hungry, scrappy,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “We’re getting it done in different ways than we’re accustomed to. It’s good to get a new look and some guys in here just playing like it’s their last game every time.”
The Yankees broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning after Florial singled, stole second and scored on Stanton’s RBI single. Rougned Odor then padded the lead with a towering two-run homer to put the Yankees ahead 5-2.
But the lead evaporated in the eighth with a gassed Yankees bullpen missing a few key pieces. With Chad Green, Lucas Luetge and Luis Cessa unavailable due to recent workloads — and Justin Wilson already having thrown 1 ¹/₃ key innings — Zack Britton started the eighth for his first back-to-back appearances of the season.
Britton got in trouble after the leadoff man reached on a Torres fielding error. The lefty then issued a pair of walks around an out to load the bases before Aaron Boone called on Nick Nelson from the bullpen.
Nelson gave up a two-run single to Luke Williams, issued a walk to reload the bases then let the tying run in on a wild pitch. But the righty finally escaped, leaving the bases loaded with the game tied 5-5.
Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth inning despite another issue with his fingernail prompting a visit from Boone and a trainer. He walked Rhys Hoskins to lead off the inning but later picked him off for the second out, then fanned Brad Miller to end the frame.
After the Yankees had used six pitchers to get through nine innings — beginning with Wojciechowski making a four-inning spot start — the Yankees turned to Kriske for the 10th. He delivered a perfect frame, stranding the ghost runner at third so LaMarre could win it minutes later and send the Yankees to Boston on a high note.
“The guys certainly feel good that they’re playing well and playing with confidence and relishing different situations that come up in the game and going out there and executing when it matters,” Boone said. “We gotta continue that. We know what Boston is and how good they are.”
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce