New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hit a go-ahead three-run home run in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
With first base open in a 2-2 game, Sanchez homered off Brad Boxberger for his sixth home run in the past 11 games to give the Yankees the lead.
"He's meant a lot," manager Joe Girardi said, according to the Associated Press. "Offensively and defensively. It's kind of fitting that he got the big hit."
Sanchez's home run put the Yankees within 3 1/2 games of the second wild card spot, however they still trail the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers in the race.
"He's carried us," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "We're not even close to talking about a playoff berth if Gary doesn't come up and do what he does."
The 23-year-old catcher has hit 17 home runs through his first 42 games this season. Since being called up for good in early August, he has a .335/.408/.728 batting line, and the Yankees are 22-19 in that span.
"I'm enjoying it, especially when you win the game," Sanchez said.