Aaron Judge hit a mammoth three-run drive in the ninth inning for his first walk-off home run in the major leagues to give the Yankees a 6-5 comeback victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Giancarlo Stanton tied it with a modest three-run shot in the sixth, and the Yankees rallied for their 14th victory in 16 games after three Toronto ejections left the angry Blue Jays seeing red.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 5 | Box Score | Play-by-Play
The Yankees overcame a shaky start from Luis Severino and improved to 21-8, the best record in the majors.
George Springer launched a leadoff homer for Toronto, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth that helped the Blue Jays take a 5-3 lead.
No. 9 batter Jose Trevino and D.J. LeMahieu drew consecutive one-out walks in the ninth from Jordan Romano (1-2) before Judge sent a hanging 1-2 slider 450 feet into the second deck in left field. The big slugger, who hit a walk-off drive for Class AA Trenton in April 2015, did a little dance as he approached the plate and was swarmed by excited teammates.
Judge and Stanton have homered in the same game 20 times, including the postseason, and the Yankees have won 19 of those games.
It was the second blown save in 14 chances this season for Romano, who began the night leading the majors in saves.
Wandy Peralta (1-0) pitched a hitless ninth for the win.
Santiago Espinal had an early two-run double — originally ruled a home run — as Toronto quickly built a 3-0 lead against Severino, who started on eight days’ rest.
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Yusei Kikuchi pitched five hitless innings before Stanton tied the score in the sixth with a three-run homer off reliever Yimi García that cleared Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch by just a few rows. The 335-foot drive would not have been a home run in any other big league ballpark, according to Statcast.
That’s when the fireworks really started.
García hit the next batter, Josh Donaldson, just around the left elbow pad with a 94 mph fastball on an 0-1 count.
Players on the Yankees bench didn’t like it, but Donaldson calmly went to first base and the umpires convened on the infield grass.
After a long discussion, crew chief Alfonso Marquez ejected Garcia, enraging the pitcher and several Blue Jays who came spilling out of the dugout. In the heated exchange, Marquez then tossed pitching coach Pete Walker as well.
And when Yankees reliever Jonathan Loáisiga brushed back Bo Bichette with a 97 mph fastball in the seventh, plate umpire Lance Barrett heard something from the Blue Jays bench and ejected flabbergasted manager Charlie Montoyo.
Toronto regained its composure and put together a two-run rally in the eighth. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drew a leadoff walk from Loáisiga and raced all the way home from first with a headfirst slide on Gurriel’s line-drive double to left field off Chad Green.
Gurriel advanced to third on the throw home and scored on Alejandro Kirk’s sacrifice fly.
Toronto has lost three straight and six of eight.
A Rat Steals the Show During Mets Win
WASHINGTON — There was no question this rat was for real. So, too, are these Mets.
A critter scurried through the outfield grass just before James McCann’s sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead score during a three-run sixth inning Tuesday night, and Carlos Carrasco nearly got to the seventh again, helping the Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 4-2.
The sight of a creature drew gasps from some spectators and cheers from others in an announced crowd of 21,955 at Nationals Park, where fans were encouraged to bring their dogs to the game.
“The rat was lucky it was Pups in the Park tonight and not Cat-urday!” team spokeswoman Jennifer Mastin Giglio joked in a text message.
The episode brought to mind one from a year ago — May 8, 2021, to be exact — involving a Mets club on the way to a disappointing 77-85 finish: Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil got into an argument during a game after they combined to flub a grounder. Soon after, Mets players rushed into the tunnel near the dugout.
Here was Lindor’s explanation that day: “I was like, ‘I’ve never seen a New York rat.’ So we went down, sprinting. I wanted to go see a New York rat, and (McNeil) got mad at me and was like, ’It’s not a rat, it’s a raccoon.’”
Hmmmm. Regardless, this time, there was no doubt what was going on during an eventful half-inning, which began with the last-place Nationals ahead, 2-0, thanks to Maikel Franco’s R.B.I. double — McNeil’s relay throw easily beat Yadiel Hernandez home as he tried to score from first — in the fourth, and Riley Adams’s solo shot in the fifth.
That was all Carrasco (3-1) gave up in six and two-thirds innings; he began the day as the only pitcher in the majors who had gone more than seven innings in at least two starts.
In the sixth, once Nationals starter Patrick Corbin had been replaced by new call-up Carl Edwards Jr., the Mets broke through, showing why they are now 21-10.
The Mets loaded the bases off Edwards (0-1) with two singles and a walk, and Jeff McNeil drove in a pair of runs by ripping a ball that ricocheted off first baseman Josh Bell and down the right-field line.
McCann’s sacrifice fly made it 3-2 and elicited “Let’s go, Mets!” chants from their fans in the stands. After Lindor made a terrific diving stop and throw to get Franco on a grounder in the seventh, the Mets added an unearned insurance run in the eighth, and Edwin Díaz pithed the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Verlander Flirts With No-Hitter in Win
MINNEAPOLIS — Justin Verlander missed out on his fourth no-hitter by five outs but still faced the minimum through eight innings, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-0, Tuesday night for their eighth straight win.
Twins third baseman Gio Urshela singled to right field with one out in the eighth to end Verlander’s bid. The 39-year-old right-hander, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, finished the eighth by getting Royce Lewis to ground into a double play.
Verlander was vying to tie Sandy Koufax for second on the career no-hitter list. Nolan Ryan holds the record with seven.
After pitching just once in 2020 and missing the entire 2021 season with an elbow injury, Verlander has been stellar so far in 2022. Tuesday’s start moved him to 4-1 with a 1.55 E.R.A. through six starts.
Verlander struck out five and walked two on 89 pitches. Blake Taylor pitched the ninth for Houston.