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Gritty Yankees erase 5-run deficit to stun Angels, 6-5

ANAHEIM — When Aaron Judge became the latest Yankee to land on the injured list, many fans started to lose hope with what many considered a snake bit season. Thankfully for all, the men in the locker room never lost hope.

Now, the Yankees, winners of six in a row and eight of their last ten, are right back in the thick of things and are just a game and a half back of the division leading Rays for the AL East’s top spot. Tonight, it was the ability of the squad to continually chip away, despite the big deficit, and fight till the night ended with the Yankees on top, 6-5.

Instead of giving up, the new guys have all come up and injected new life and a never say die attitude in the team, that many could argue was missing from the club ever since Aaron Boone took over as manager.

This was personified by Tyler Wade, who came across to score on DJ LeMahieu’s game winning RBI-single with two outs in the ninth. Instead of putting his head down after getting victimized by a ridiculous hidden ball trick that ended a previous Yankee rally, Wade got a hit, stole second, and scored the game’s winning run.

The storyline entering the night was CC Sabathia’s quest for 3000 strikeouts. Just six away from the historic milestone, some thought tonight could be the night for the long-time Yankee left-hander.

Instead, Sabathia struggled from the get-go giving up hard hit ball after hard hit ball against a Los Angeles team that does not strikeout a lot.

Andrelton Simmons was the catalyst for the home team early on, swatting two solo homers against Sabathia.

The big hit, though, came a few batters later in the fourth inning, when Justin Bour went deep for the second straight night to give the Angels a 5-0 lead before the Yankees could even settle in.

Sabathia ended the night with just three strikeouts in five innings, putting him still three away from 3000 but in prime position to achieve the milestone in his next start in Arizona.

The Yankee offense finally began showing some life against Felix Pena in the sixth, when a LeMahieu double drove in Wade. LeMahieu then scored on a wild pitch later in the frame to make it 5-2, Angels.

New York continued to put pressure on a bad LA bullpen in the very next inning, with the first four batters of the frame reaching safely against Luis Garcia.

With a run already in, LeMahieu drove in yet another run with a sacrifice fly, before a Luke Voit grounder tied the game at five. With the ball hit to Simmons at short, a creative and nifty slide from Mike Tauchman at home plate allowed him to get home safely.

The Yankees nearly took the lead later in the frame, but a tremendous play from Mike Trout robbed Brett Gardner of extra bases and the previously mentioned hidden ball trick doubled off Wade at second.

It didn’t matter in the end, however, as New York took the lead in the ninth on LeMahieu’s big hit. Aroldis Chapman pitched a clean bottom half of the inning to close out the huge Yankee win, his fourth save of the season.

Not to be ignored in the game was the effort of Jonathan Loaisiga, who kept the Yankees in the game with three innings of quality work in relief of Sabathia.

Also, Gary Sanchez was activated from the IL before tonight’s game but looked terrible at the plate, striking out in all four of his plate appearances.

The Bombers go for the sweep tomorrow night, with Masahiro Tanaka facing off with right-hander Trevor Cahill.

Current Yankees Record: 14-10