CHICAGO, Ill. — Never a dull moment or ending with these New York Yankees. They really should’ve swept the Chicago White Sox but given some of these heart-attack-inducing ninth innings, you hang on and move on and notch another series on your belt.
There were way too many ifs in this game. If the Yankees had even an average starting pitcher not named Andrew Heaney. If they had not gone 1-for-7 with RISP. If they had used Jonathan Loaisiga instead of Zack Britton in the ninth inning. If you’d told me the Yankees would homer twice and post four runs in five-plus frames against Lance Lynn, I would’ve believed it would be a runaway victory. Alas, the Yankees laid an exciting victory into the devastating jaws of defeat, 9-8.
However, in a New York minute in Iowa, the ChiSox stormed back. Tim Anderson notched an RBI double. Eloy Jimenez cracked corn with a three-run jolt of his own to right in the home half. An inning later the White Sox added a run on a Seby Zavala blast to right center.
New York would chip away more against Lynn in the sixth inning as Brett Gardner yanked a solo swat to right. However, they would leave a couple of runners on base against reliever Michael Kopech. They’d also leave the bases loaded against Aaron Bummer in the seventh inning.
Yet, in the ninth inning, the Bronx Bombers rallied against Chicago closer Liam Hendriks. Tyler Wade singled to lead off the frame. With two outs, Judge cranked a two-run tater to right-center.
However, in the ill-fated bottom half, Britton retired Danny Mendick but issued a walk to Zavala and eventually the dagger first-pitch walk-off homer to right by Anderson.
The Yankees rebounded like Dennis Rodman in ChiTown. While the bullpen had some dubious moments, the lineup bounced back in every instance for a 7-5 victory.
Judge had himself a night against the pale hose. Four times the Yankee right-fielder gave his squad the lead on the evening. During the first frame, he lifted a sac-fly to center off Dylan Cease for a 1-0 edge. Also with a huge evening was Gallo. Gallo popped a Sears tower touching drive to right to double the Bronx Bomber advantage.
Jameson Taillon wasn’t dominant but he essentially provided New York with a “pitch to the scoreboard” outing. The White Sox scratched out a run in the first and squared the game at two on a Luis Robert homer to center in the second stanza.
The teams traded scores in the third inning. Judge doubled to right, plating Gardner.
Yet, Chicago would strike back in the ninth inning. Unfortunately, someone from the dugout called for a curveball when Abreu was clearly not catching up with Chad Green’s fastball or at least not putting it in play. Honestly, you have to try to make him chase in that spot and if you walk him, so be it. Alas, the curve lingered above the plate and Abreu smashed the full-count offering to deep left.
Luckily, the Yankees have Hendriks’ number and tallied again in the tenth with the automatic runner Gardner on second base. Judge (say it with me now) came through again with a go-ahead RBI single to center.
Padding the lead in the inning was Gallo with a rocket two-run blast to right. It would turn out to be a much-needed home run as well.
Britton was marched out and once again didn’t have anything. He yielded an RBI single to center by Robert. Thankfully, the Yankees had some breathing room. With the bases loaded, Albert Abreu was able to record the remaining two outs to preserve the win.
It was relatively smooth sailing for the Yankees in their 5-3 victory but they also made it more interesting than need be.
New York pounced on Lucas Giolito in the second stanza. Odor turned around a 2-0 fastball and staked the Bronx Bombers to a 2-0 lead. The Yankees would add on after a Gardner double coupled with an errant throw by second baseman Cesar Hernandez enabled LeMahieu to score.
On the bump, Nestor Cortes Jr. gave the Yankees a quality start and more. He threw everything but the kitchen sink at the ChiSox from every angle and in the end received a cookie for his troubles. In six strong, Cortes Jr. scattered seven hits, walked one, and struck out seven, with the lone blip being a Vaughn solo homer to left-center in the sixth. C is for Cortes, that’s good enough for the Yankees.
Fast forward to the ninth inning, Voit had a nice bounce-back afternoon with a 3-for-5 at the dish. The Yankee first baseman smoked a two-run tater to left off Matt Foster, increasing the lead to 5-1 and he did a little hop in Sammy Sosa’s old town. As with Gallo the evening prior, it would be a much-needed jolt.
While Loaisiga handled the heart of the order in the eighth inning, the ninth was patchwork for the pen. Luetge was missing with his location, walking Yoan Moncada and allowing a single to Robert to left. A nice grab by Andrew Velazquez on a pop-out by Jake Lamb got the Yankees their first out. Yet, a Zack Collins drive to right made for a tough play for Judge on what was ruled an RBI double. With Peralta on, an infield single by Anderson cut the New York advantage to 5-3. Thankfully, on the ensuing pitch, Peralta coaxed Hernandez to hit into a game-ending double-play.
At 65-52, the Yankees return home to face the Los Angeles Angels in a makeup game at Yankee Stadium on Monday evening.