Over the weekend, the Yankees at last faced some adversity in this otherwise sterling early part of the 2022 season, an amalgam of issues – injuries, several players sidelined with COVID-like symptoms and Josh Donaldson’s mouth among them – causing it.
The result was the club’s first three-game losing streak of the season, and Tuesday night it nearly became four.
And it would have been if not for a two-homer night from Gleyber Torres, solo homer efforts by Anthony Rizzo and Jose Trevino, a key extra-inning single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and, finally, Trevino’s walk-off RBI single in the 11th that lifted the Yankees to a 7-6 victory over the Orioles in front of 32,289 at the Stadium.
“Tell you guys all the time, adversity’s coming for you,” Aaron Boone said afterward. “We’ve certainly hit some here these last few days. But the season stops for no one and we just have to keep on competing and fighting and that game embodied that.”
After the Orioles pushed one across against Clarke Schmidt in the top of the 11th, the Yankees (30-13) got their ghost runner, Torres, to third against Baltimore righthander Bryan Baker on Miguel Andujar’s fly out to deep right. Kiner-Falefa fouled off two 0-and-2 pitches before singling to center to tie it at 6-6. Marwin Gonzalez singled and Trevino lasered a 1-and-2 pitch to left for the game-winner.
Still, there may be additional adversity on the horizon, however, as Giancarlo Stanton left the game in the seventh inning because of what the team called “right calf tightness,” something Boone said the DH felt as he warmed up in the cage before the Yankees came to bat in the seventh. He’ll undergo an MRI Wednesday.
Before first pitch, DJ LeMahieu was scratched because of “left wrist discomfort.”
“DJ got an MRI today and it was clean so that was really good news,” Boone said.
But LeMahieu did get a cortisone shot, making him likely unavailable for Wednesday.
Tuesday featured the four total homers and some clutch hits but also another implosion from a bullpen arm, this one belonging to Michael King who, coming into the night, had been among the most dominant relievers in the game.
But he failed to protect a 3-2 lead in the seventh, allowing a three-run blast to Rougned Odor, a Yankee last season, which made it 5-3 (Austin Hays, quickly becoming a Yankee killer at the plate, led off the inning with a homer off Jordan Montgomery, who allowed two runs and four hits in 6-plus innings, that made it 3-1).
But the Yankees tied it in the bottom half of the seventh.
Torres teed off on Baltimore lefthander Bruce Zimmermann a second time with one out, blasting one to left to pull the Yankees within 5-4. In came righty Logan Gillaspie, who retired Andujar for the second out but gave up a single to Kiner-Falefa, then hit Gonzalez with a pitch. Trevino, who homered in the third for a 2-0 lead, followed with an RBI single to right, tying it at 5-5.
Clay Holmes’ electric 2022 continued in the eighth as he struck out two and Wandy Peralta, though he allowed three hard-hit balls, including a leadoff single to Ryan Mountcastle, avoided damage to the scoreboard. Schmidt stranded the ghost runner at second with a 1-2-3 10th.
“(Fought) to the end there to pull one out with some real winning at-bats by some guys,” Boone said.