The Yankees finally got back on the winning side on Saturday afternoon, snapping their losing streak at a season high-tying two by rallying from a four-run deficit to beat the A’s, 7-6, in 11 innings at Yankee Stadium. Neil Walker was the walk-off hero with a single that gave the Yankees their 18th win in 21 games.
Down 6-2 in the fifth inning after Domingo German got roughed up a bit, the major damage coming on a three-run homer by Khris Davis, the Yankees put together a four-run rally. Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer, his team-leading 11th of the season, Didi Gregorius got his first hit since May 3 and came around to score on a Walker single, and Miguel Andujar drove in Gary Sanchez with the tying run on another single.
1. Neil Walker’s season averages are going to keep looking ugly for a while because of how bad his start to the season was, but the veteran infielder is swinging a hot bat now, with two more key hits in this game, including the winner. In his last nine games, Walker is 9-for-25 (.360) and has raised his batting average from .163 to .210, with his OPS up to .557, a rise of 160 points in less than two weeks.
2. You may have forgotten that A.J. Cole was on the roster, as the righthander had not pitched since making his Yankees debut on April 28 with two scoreless innings to finish off a blowout win in Anaheim. Cole put up another pair of zeroes on Saturday, striking out four to help himself work around a pair of walks in extra innings. Cole became the 545th pitcher all time to earn a win for the Yankees.
3. Gary Sanchez got the Yankees on the board first, belting a solo homer off Andrew Triggs in the second inning. Sanchez is the third Yankee this season to reach double figures in home runs, joining Judge and Didi Gregorius, while Giancarlo Stanton is close behind with nine. Entering Saturday, there were 16 teams in the major leagues that didn’t have anyone with 10 home runs.
Player of the Game
Does this give Walker “true Yankee” status? Not really, it’s a Saturday afternoon game against the A’s, but it’s still important for him to get going, especially given the impending returns of Brandon Drury and Greg Bird.