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Aaron Judge's game-tying HR, Gary Sanchez's walk-off hit spark Yankees' comeback win over Twins

Gary Sanchez #24 of the Yankees celebrates his

Gary Sanchez #24 of the Yankees celebrates his tenth inning game winning base hit against the Minnesota Twins with teammate Gleyber Torres #25 at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Sep. 13, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Yankees had an emotional late-night loss and were knocked out of playoff position on Sunday — actually early Monday morning — in Queens. It took them a while to wake up for their Monday afternoon makeup game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium.

Boy, did they wake up in a big way.

Aaron Judge crushed a tying three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning and Gary Sanchez had a walk-off single with one out in the 10th as the Yankees came back from an early five-run deficit to beat the Twins, 6-5, in a makeup of an Aug. 22 rainout.

"It’s a roller coaster," said Judge, who left Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Mets after 2½ innings because of dizziness. "But you’ve got to enjoy the ride."

Winning pitcher Clay Holmes (5-1 with the Yankees) retired three straight batters in the top of the 10th and kept the ghost runner from scoring.

In the bottom half, Gio Urshela struck out trying to bunt before Sanchez lined a single into the leftfield corner to drive in ghost runner Gleyber Torres, whom manager Aaron Boone moved back to second base from shortstop (seemingly permanently) in a surprise move for Monday’s lineup.

It was the Yankees’ 10th walk-off win of the season.

The Yankees, who trailed 4-0 six batters into the game after losing 12 of their previous 15 games, had been 0-35 in games in which they were down by at least four runs. Now it’s 1-35.

"Huge," Boone said. "Obviously, a quick turnaround from a long, late night and they throw a four-spot on us in the first inning. A nice one, to fall behind like that after an emotional weekend, and, obviously, with these games meaning so much, that’s a good one right there."

The Yankees (80-64) improved to 109-38 vs. the Twins (including postseason) since 2002. They remained a game behind wild-card leader Toronto (81-63) and moved into the second wild-card spot by .00076 over Boston (81-65), which lost to the Mariners in Seattle, 5-4.

The Yankees were down 5-2 when pinch hitter Anthony Rizzo led off the eighth with a walk. Two outs later, Tyler Duffey walked Brett Gardner on a 3-and-2 pitch that may have caught the top of the strike zone.

"I felt fortunate," Boone said. "I was glad he walked."

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli didn’t feel fortunate. He was ejected for arguing after signaling for reliever Alex Colome to face Judge.

Judge tied the score with a dramatic three-run homer to right-center. It was his 33rd home run of the season.

"That’s the guy you want up there," Boone said. "Colome is tough, but he’s able to get a pitch [that] looked like up and kind of hit a no-doubter there to right-center. Just a really good at-bat in that spot. Got what he was looking for and didn’t miss it."

Of the dizziness, Judge said: "I feel better today. Not 100%. But I’m not too concerned about it. It just kind of came out of nowhere. I’ve gotten my bell rung around a couple times in football. It’s kind of what it felt like . . . We checked all that, all the vitals, everything was good. So we really don’t know what it is. But I’m just thankful to be feeling better today."

The Yankees fell behind 4-0 in the first as Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano rocked rookie Luis Gil for a pair of two-run homers.

Gil gave up a solo home run by Byron Buxton on the first pitch of the third inning to make it 5-0, but he settled down and went six innings in his fifth major-league start. He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out eight in a career-high 102-pitch effort.

The Yankees didn’t get their first hit until Joey Gallo executed a drag bunt for a single on the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth. They got on the board in the sixth when Tyler Wade walked, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by DJ LeMahieu, who was robbed of an extra-base hit by Max Kepler. Gallo hit his 33rd homer in the seventh to make it 5-2.

"It’s nice," Gallo said. "It’s really nice to get a win like that."

New York Sports