The ball representing Monday’s historic battle final entered Luke Voit glove pocket and the first baseman immediately searched for the teammate who threw it, kissing Rougned Odor in an exaggerated bear hug.
This one had been, Sees said, “a grind.” After the bullpen blew up four late advances, DJ LeMahieu and Brett Gardner strung together 11th inning hits for the final punches of an unforgettable 8-6 Yankees victory over the Royals on Monday at Kauffman Stadium.
“That was the definition of a team win,” said Voit, who produced the first point of the game with a single in the seventh inning and a homer in the ninth. “Everyone on the programming card did the job. Obviously we had our ups and downs, but we kept fighting. Fortunately, we came out victorious. ”
It was the first game in Major League history in which both teams scored in the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kansas City became the first team in the modern era (since 1900) to erase a deficit in innings seven, eight, nine and 10.
LeMahieu opened the 11th with a brace from Greg Holland. Gardner went on to collect a two-run single on a heavily-touched ground player who deflected shortstop Nicky Lopez and second baseman Whit Merrifield was unable to secure in time.
With the four previous New York relievers charged with failed saves, Wandy Peralta wrapped up the four-hour and 52-minute extravagance and recorded his third career save, but not without drama. Edward Olivares logged in for an RBI single and Peralta faced the potential winning run from Carlos Santana, which failed. The Yankees are only the second team in the MLB to make four failed saves in one game, joining the Astros (29/28/1995).
“It’s one of those games that you don’t see very often,” Gardner said. “We had a few chances to win, and you have to give them credit – they kept fighting and coming back. He’s obviously a tough opponent, but we were able to win. ”
After strong starting performances by Jameson Taillon of the Yankees and Carlos Hernández of Kansas City, the clubs mirrored their performances in the 7-10 innings, with both teams scoring twice in the 10th.
Sees knocked out Hernández in the seventh, but Kansas City responded with an unorthodox run – fueled by a stray pickup throw from Jonathan Loaisiga and a questionable pullback that brought about Aaron Boone’s fourth ejection of the season, the manager watching Ryan on a television screen. O’Hearn raised a sacrifice fly.
“It’s hard to watch him in the clubhouse when you’re a little bit behind and live and die with every throw,” Boone said. “This game is who these guys are. It hasn’t been easy all year, but they keep competing, coming.
Aaron Judge put New York back in the lead by tapping into a tough eighth-inning slider from reliever Scott Barlow, chasing Tyler Wade’s home, but Loaisiga cleared two baserunners before Andrew Benintendi tied the game again with a Chad Green’s sure shot.
Playing his second game since activating from his third stint of the season on the injured list, Voit pitched his fourth homer of the season in the ninth, a solo shot to right field. Voir led the Majors with 22 home runs in last year’s pandemic shortened campaign.
“I finally feel like I landed well on my leg,” said Voit. “I am able to drive through this front knee. It was a struggle for me because I was gentle with it. I was picking up bad habits because I favored it a bit, especially earlier. It’s back to normal, and that’s all I can ask for.
Voir’s move was called off in the ninth, as Zack Britton couldn’t close a header, ceding a single two-strike RBI to Lopez.
Kyle Higashioka and Gardner scored points in the 10th, but so did Jarrod Dyson and Hanser Alberto, spoiling Clay Holmes’ attempt for his first career save.
“I actually thought Britt’s stuff was really good,” Boone said. “Losing Merrifield on a walk cost him and Lopez got him with a throw over the plate. Those extra innings are hard to navigate when you get in there and you already have a runner in second. It won’t always be perfect.
Taillon watched most of the frenzy alongside some of the relievers from a table in the clubhouse, their eyes ranging from the TV broadcast to a high-overload internal stream that provided a few seconds of spoilers.
“That,” said Taillon, “was a crazy game. Both sides, whenever they needed a big hit, both sides got it. It was one of the strangest and wildest games I have ever seen.
With more than six splendid innings, the right-hander has certainly held his part, continuing to be a mainstay for a rotation that recently lost Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery and Domingo Germán on the injured list. Taillon is 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last seven starts, lowering his season ERA to 3.82.
“I don’t think I’ve played in such a game before,” Taillon said. “It’s like I pitched ages ago. ”