The Yankees put together yet another come-from-behind win thanks to the bats of Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge, while taking the AL East lead from the Red Sox in a 9-6 win in the Bronx. >> Box score
Whether it is their win streak or the heated rivalry with the Red Sox, the Yankees simply have no quit.
Down 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees plated four runs to take the lead, and ultimately, the AL East throne from the Sox. New York now has 17 wins of their last 18 games, while pushing their current win streak to eight straight games.
It was Rick Porcello who got the ball for the Red Sox as he came into this game with a 2.14 ERA. But the Yankees were all over him early.
Brett Gardner kickstarted the Yankees' offense with a double that was almost a leadoff homer to right center field. Aaron Judge would waste no time in the next at-bat, roping a single up the middle to get the Yanks on the board first.
After Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed a two-run homer to Mitch Moreland in the second, New York answered in the bottom of the third thanks once again to Giancarlo Stanton, who has hit the Red Sox hard this season. He lined a two-run double to the right field corner to take over the lead. Aaron Hicks would add a sac fly to take a 4-2 lead.
But it was the big fly that got to Tanaka again in the fifth. Andrew Benintendi turned on a hanging slider and took it over the right center field fence to cut the lead to 4-3. And though Gary Sanchez hit a sacrific fly to make it 5-3, the lead was reliniqushed by the bullpen.
It was Chad Green who allowed a two-run bomb to Hanley Ramirez in the top of the seventh to give the Red Sox their first lead of the night. Boston almost pulled away in the eighth inning as they had second and third with no outs, but Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder muscled through it to keep the one-run game.
Then, the Yankees used their sellout crowd and hot bats to pull away. With Neil Walker and Gleyber Torres on third and first respectively, Craig Kimbrel came to the mound looking for the five-out save -- a feat he has yet to accomplish in his career. Well, Gardner kept that stat alive with a clutch two-run triple to left center field to re-take the lead, 6-5.
And just for insurance, Aaron Judge launched a high heater over the center field wall to make it 9-6. Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth and secured his ninth save of the season.
Gardner, who came into the game with just four extra-base hits on the season, finished 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, three runs, and two RBI. Judge went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs, while Sanchez finished 2-for-3.
The Yankees -- with yet another comeback win -- have come all the way back to take over sole possession of first place.
The Yankees had won 16-of-17 games largely without Gardner's assistance. Tonight, he looked to be on the verge of one of his patented hot swings with three extra-base hit rockets, including a triple to drive in the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth inning off Kimbrel.
I've expressed many times that as Gardner goes, so too go the Yankees. While it is good to see they can win while he is slumping, the team is undeniably stronger when he's getting on base and driving the ball to all parts of the field as he did tonight.
Besides Gardner's exploits, Judge and Chapman flashed their brilliance tonight as well. The unsung hero, though, might be Jonathan Holder. The righty reliever prevented the Red Sox from scoring when he faced a second and third with one-out situation, and a bases loaded two-out circumstance.
Holder didn't allow a run, giving the offense a chance to come back later in the game. That they did.
What's next: The Yankees complete their three-game set against the Red Sox on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.