In a rollercoaster-type ballgame that featured multiple lead changes, the Yankees were staring defeat in the face in the ninth, but then decided to casually load the bases without allowing the Astros to record a single out.
Prior to the exciting ending, the Yanks stormed out of the gate with three early runs in the first three innings, setting Masahiro Tanaka up for success. They rode that wave until the seventh, when Tanaka was replaced with Chad Green who allowed all three of his inherited runs to score.
Additionally, Green gave up two more runs, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead heading into the ninth inning.
The Astros were all set to split the four game series evenly, but rookie sensation Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks, who started the game on the bench with the day off, had other ideas instead.
With the bases loaded, Torres ripped a game-tying, two-run single to even the score at five in the top of the ninth. Shortly after, Hicks scored on an Aaron Judge infield force out.
Prior to crossing the plate, Hicks managed to piece together an impressive at-bat which resulted in a table-setting single off Astro reliever Will Harris.
These three runs that came late in the game, along with the three early runs recorded in the first three frames added up to a 6-5 Yankee victory.
Although Tanaka was not able to pick up the win, he did pitch a full six innings, making sure not a single Astro batter crossed the plate. The 29-year-old righty looked rather dominant in his latest outing, shutting down a potent Houston offense and looking more and more like the pitcher he is supposed to be.
He was charged with three earned runs thanks to a rare rough appearance by Chad Green, but still ended the day with a solid stat line: 6.0IP, 5H, 3ER, 0BB, 5K, 83 pitches, 60 strikes.
Offensively, Yankee bats put up a six spot against a dominant Astro pitching staff, scoring three early in the ballgame and three much later in the afternoon.
Gleyber Torres was certainly a key player today, recording 1H and 3RBI in the process.
Neil Walker (yes, he’s still around) had himself a solid ballgame this afternoon as well, recording 1H and 1RBI of his own.
Additionally, Aaron Judge and Ronald Torreyes contributed to the scoring, as the pair tacked on two more RBI collectively.
Here’s Walker avoiding the tag with an impressive slide, giving his team an early 2-0 lead: