Down four runs in the ninth inning, catcher Brian McCann hit a game-tying three-run home run and shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a walk-off two-run homer to lead the New York Yankees to a six-run rally en route to a 9-7 walk-off win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
"A win we really had to fight for," manager Joe Girardi said, according to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews. "They should be excited in there."
The Yankees had lost three straight and trailed by five runs in the eighth inning, but McCann started the comeback by hitting the first of two home runs in the eighth inning, a solo shot that made it 7-3.
How improbable was the win? New York had been 0-36 when trailing after eight innings, and it had been more than six years since the Yankees scored six runs in the ninth inning. Alex Rodriguez, who went 0 for 5, called it the Yankees' biggest win of the season, and Girardi said Wednesday's win felt better than just another win.
But Gregorius, who hit his first-career walk-off, hopes Wednesday's victory can give the Yankees momentum heading into the All-Star break and beyond.
"I'll say the biggest is yet to come," Gregorius said, according to the Journal News' Chad Jennings. "I think we're a team trying to play better, so a lot of stuff is going to happen. We're going to play better baseball from now on, so a lot more to come."
Three straight Yankees reached base in the ninth inning, including Brett Gardner, whose RBI single cut the deficit to 7-4. Two batters later, McCann became the first Yankee since 2004 to homer in the eighth and ninth innings by tying the game with a deep drive to right. After a walk, Gregorius lined Sam Dyson's first pitch into the right-field seats for his first walk-off home run.
"Everybody's looking at us like we don't work hard. But we keep fighting. We're not giving up," Gregorius said, according to the New York Daily News' Daniel Popper. "You never know until the last out."