Pinch hitter Ryan LaMarre beat a five-man infield with a one-out single to the rightfield wall to score ghost runner Gary Sanchez with the walk-off run in the 10th as the Yankees beat the Phillies, 6-5, for their fourth win in a row before 34,112 at Yankee Stadium.
Sanchez started the inning at second and was moved to third on Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice bunt. LaMarre, who was batting for Brett Gardner against lefthander Ranger Suarez, lifted the first pitch just shy of the rightfield fence and then was mobbed by his teammates as the Yankees ended a 4-1 homestand.
"I tried to button it back up for the (on-field) interview," LaMarre said about getting his jersey pulled off by teammates. "There was no buttons to be found. I don’t know how they fix those or if they just get you a new one. I don’t think that jersey’s coming back."
"I love the aggression," Boone said of LaMarre's at-bat. "It's like, you know what you're looking for. [The Phillies] don't want to get a ball in the air. Using the entire field. Got a pitch up and out over the plate that he could get in the air and just a really pro job of hitting right there in that spot."
The Yankees won a game that was started for them by Triple-A callup Asher Wojciechowski. They also won a game in which they frittered away a three-run lead in the eighth in large part to an error and a game-tying wild pitch.
The winning pitcher was Brooks Kriske (1-0), who kept the ghost runner away from home plate in the top of the 10th in his first appearance since getting called up on July 10. It was his first career win.
"That’s huge," Boone said of the win. "Look, we’re up against it a lot of ways today . . . Just kind of gutting through it and a tough, hard win and, again, a lot of people contributing."
The Yankees were gifted an opportunity to win in the bottom of the ninth when Phillies rightfielder Brad Miller missed a line drive hit by Giancarlo Stanton for an error to put runners on second and third with one out.
With the Phillies employing a five-man infield, Rougned Odor grounded into a first-to-home forceout. Sanchez then hit a flare to short right-center that was run down by second baseman Jean Segura to end the inning.
But, in sweeping the two-game series against Joe Girardi’s Phillies, the Yankees concluded a homestand that included their first two victories against the Red Sox after they started the season 0-7 against their AL East rivals. The Yankees trail Boston by seven games.
Just when it seemed as if injuries and COVID-19 absences were going to doom their season, the Yankees have given themselves a chance to have a week to remember. After the series in Boston, they travel to Tampa Bay for three against the second-place Rays.
The next seven games may decide whether the Yankees are buyers, sellers or bystanders at the July 30 trade deadline.
"It’s no secret who our biggest rivals are and where we’re at in the standings," Gardner said. "Not just Boston, but obviously after that we go to Tampa for three games. We have a very, very important week of baseball coming up this next road trip. We’re looking forward to that matchup this weekend. It’s always a fun place to play."
It’ll be more fun for the Yankees because they are playing well without Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela and Luke Voit, among others, and have a makeshift lineup that is getting it done.
"I think the guys certainly feel good that they’re playing well," Boone said. "And playing with confidence and relishing in different situations that come up in the game and going out and executing when it matters. We’ve got to continue that, obviously. We know what Boston is and how good they are. Hopefully we can go to put our best foot forward starting tomorrow."
With the score tied at 2 in the seventh, rookie Estevan Florial reached on a one-out dribbler inside the third-base line and stole second. It was the first career steal for Florial, who was called up on Tuesday and hit his first career home run.
After DJ LeMahieu struck out, Stanton shortened up on 1-and-2 and grounded a go-ahead single past a diving second baseman Jean Segura and into right. Stanton had been hearing the boos all night after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a pop-up.
Rougned Odor followed by lining the next pitch into the rightfield seats for his 11th home run to make it 5-2.
But the Phillies tied it with three in the eighth, an inning that began when Torres booted a grounder for an error. After Zack Britton walked a pair to load the bases with one out, manager Aaron Boone called on righthander Nick Nelson and his 9.95 ERA to protect the lead.
That went about as expected. Luke Williams drove in two with a single and the Phillies tied it when Nelson threw a wild pitch well past Sanchez. But, to Nelson’s credit, the righthander got Andrew McCutchen to fly to center with the bases loaded to end the inning and keep the game tied.
The Yankees dipped down to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for Wojciechowski, a 32-year-old righthander with a career record of 9-15 with a 5.95 ERA in 57 games (34 starts) in parts of four seasons for the Astros, Reds and Orioles.
Up Wojciechowski came. And out went his first pitch as a Yankee as Segura hit a leadoff home run to left.
Bryce Harper gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead with an RBI double in the third. In four innings, Wojciechowski allowed two runs and three hits. He walked three, hit a batter, struck out four and threw 83 pitches.
The Yankees tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the fourth on Torres’ two-out solo home run to right and Greg Allen’s RBI double.
"Everyone’s hungry, scrappy," Stanton said. "We’re getting it done different ways than we’re accustomed to. It’s good to get a new look and some guys in there playing like it’s their last game every time."