Two rookies and one team senior gave the Yankees one of their most exciting and significant victories of the season, a 6-5 win over the Houston Astros in 10 innings Tuesday night.
Brett Gardner, 34, the team's oldest position player, hit two home runs, including a game-tie, two run-shot in the bottom of the ninth. Then rookie infielders Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres delivered 10th inning hits that ended the game.
The winner rally started with two outs in the 10th and Andujar against Astros helper Brad Peacock with 0-2. Andujar threw the next field into the left corner for a double.
Torres, who was named American League League Player of the Week earlier in the day, ending Sunday, followed with a single to drive
The win combined the three-game series against the Astros who eliminated the Yankees from the American League Championship Series in seven games last year and then won the World Series at one game. In the rubber game Wednesday night, the Yankees ace Luis Severino will face his team's playoff nemesis, Dallas Keuchel.
Although the Yankees home-run a run by Gardner and held a 2-1 lead against Charlie Morton, Houston Starter, Things Gradually, the Yankees, who had lost 5-1 to the Astros on Monday, turned out afterward a fairly routed 5: 3 defeat at Andujar, their 23-year-old third baseman, recorded a leadoff walk. After a strikeout from Torres, Gardner guarded Chris Devenski.
For Gardner, who had hoarded only once in the first 43 games, this was his third home run in three games.
The Yankees were hugely assisted by a chance strike in the top of the 10th innings after Aroldis Chapman Tony Kemp went out with two and sent him to the second with a wild field. Then Chapman uncorked a 100-mph fastball sailing over the catcher Gary Sanchez, hitting the padding behind the home plate and backtracking directly to Sanchez, who whirled Kemp around and ducked Kemp as he tried to finish third , The game started well for the Yankees, with Gardner leading Morton's second straight to 1-0 in the right field
The Astros tied for Evan Gatti's solo shot of CC Sabathia in the second leg, but the Yankees regained the lead when Torres took over in Andujar, who had doubled Morton, who came into the game with a 7-0 record and 2.04 earned runners-up.
But things started wrong in the fourth when Sabathia gave Marwin Gonzalez a double victory. He gave up two more runs in the fifth, which were officially undeserved, but still largely the fault of the pitcher.
After a 3-2 lead over Gonzalez's double, the Astros got the lead runner for first in the fifth inning when Andujar tossed Alex Bregman's bouncer pulled Greg Bird out of his pocket first.
Jose Altuve, last year's American League champion and most valuable player, struck a shot from Sabathia's glove. For a moment, Sabathia could not find the ball, and when he did, he made an ill-fated throw that sailed eight feet away from Bird into the right field, taking the runners to second and third place.
That made a run elite of Yuli Gurriel and a sacrificial fly by Gattis to increase Houston's lead to 5-2. The Yankees approached as Aaron Richter capped a Morton Fastball from the front of the second deck in the right.
But in seventh with two out and Gardner, who had voted second, Giancarlo Stanton knocked the first throw back to dismiss Joe Smith and retired to finish the inning as the crowd edged out.
It was another frustrating night for Stanton, who was homestanding in his first four at-fats and 0-for-16s before reaching Infield-Single-Three-Battlers after Gardner's play-tie-home run. He and Richter, who had doubled, were stranded when Sanchez triggered the blow.
Then the boys hit. After Andujar's double, his infield partner, 21-year-old Torres, gave the victory. His run-scoring single made up for two mistakes (out of the Yankees' five) on second base, and he ended the night in a solemn shower.