📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE

Brett Gardner’s late-inning heroics pushes Yankees past Rays

NEW YORK – Brett Gardner did it all for the New York Yankees on Thursday night. Trailing by a run going into the ninth inning, Gardner led off the inning with a triple and eventually scored the game-tying run – followed by a walk off solo HR to end the game. This back and forth affair between the Bronx Bombers and Tampa Bay Rays ended after 11 innings by a score of 6-5.

The at bat that changed the complexion of the night for the Yankees and Gardner came in the seventh inning. On a 3-0 count, Gardner took a pitch that appeared to be high and out of the strike zone but was called a strike. Both Gardner and manager Joe Girardi voiced their frustrations after Gardner ended up grounding out to end his at-bat.

Gardner’s frustrating at-bat in the seventh inning led to big things later on in the game.

This at-bat did not appear to be pivotal at that particular moment in time, but it wound up paying dividends for the Yankees in the later innings. Entering the ninth inning, Gardner was 0-for-3 with a walk and he was just itching to get on base against Rays’ closer, Alex Colome. The Yankees’ outfielder was down 1-2 in the count but laced a triple into the left-center field gap. The Yankees’ bench was fired up as Gardner slid into third base safely.

In the 11th inning, Gardner found himself at-bat again, this time versus Andrew Kittredge. The count was 1-1 when Gardner demolished a hanging slider over the plate to walk the game off for the Yankees. Gardner’s desire to win so badly pushed the Yankees to an epic victory over the Rays – and a much needed victory nonetheless.

With the win, the Yankees improved to 54-46 on the season and have now won four games in a row – sitting just a half game behind the first place Boston Red Sox. Masahiro Tanaka will look to keep the streak rolling when he takes on Austin Pruitt in the second of four games against the Rays.