It was just how the New York Yankees planned out their biggest
win of the season.
Two innings after breaking up Alex Cobb's no-hit bid, Young
delivered a dramatic three-run home run with one out in the bottom
of the ninth inning as the Yankees pulled off a stunning comeback in
a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
"To be able to come into that situation, it felt really good to do
that for the team," Young said.
Young came through twice with a double that knocked out Cobb after
102 pitches and scoring on pinch hitter Martin Prado's two-run home
run against Brad Boxberger. Then with runners at second and third,
Young put a charge into an 0-1 fastball from Tampa Bay closer Jake
McGee (4-2), looked at the fly ball carry over the left field wall,
trotted around the bases and was mobbed by teammates once he crossed
"It was amazing," Young said. "You feel like you're floating on a
cloud. I don't even remember to be honest with you. All you remember
is hitting the ball."
Young's second straight big performance filling in for the injured
Brett Gardner helped the Yankees rally from four-run deficits two
nights in a row. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the
first time since July 30-31, 2005, against the Los Angeles Angels,
they pulled it off.
"He's done an awful lot," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "We
said he was a talented player. He just had a rough year this year.
He had power and some things that he can do. He's played extremely
well but that's a huge hit for us."
Young would not have been in position to produce his sixth career
walk-off home run and first since Aug. 11, 2011, had Chase Headley
and Ichiro Suzuki not reached.
Headley reached in scary fashion by taking a fastball to the chin
that dropped him to the ground. After being attended to by trainer
Steve Donahue and team doctor Chris Ahmad, Headley was helped off
and headed for a facial X-ray. Suzuki then followed with a double to
left field, giving the Yankees three chances for the win.
Young's hit and the comeback from nearly being no-hit capped a 5-4
homestand that featured two walk-off wins and two shutout losses. It
also moved the Yankees (75-69) to within four games of the idle
Detroit Tigers with eight of their remaining 18 games coming against
the first-place Baltimore Orioles.
Rich Hill, who replaced Michael Pineda, was one of four Yankee
relievers that did not allow a run as he recorded the final two outs
of the eighth. Shawn Kelley (3-5) recorded two ground ball outs in
the ninth for the win.
Before the dramatics, Cobb didn't miss his spots and rarely made any
mistakes in having the longest no-hit bid against the Yankees since
Brandon Morrow came within four outs for the Seattle Mariners on
Sept. 5, 2008.
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"I'm thinking about it from the second I take the ball honestly,"
Cobb said. "It's always something I try to do."
Cobb allowed one baserunner through six before running into trouble
in the seventh following consecutive one-out walks to catcher Brian
McCann and first baseman Mark Teixeira. After falling behind Headley
on a 2-0 count, he got a close check-swing for the strikeout before
Suzuki fouled out.
Cobb began the eighth by retiring second baseman Stephen Drew but he
lost his chance at joining Matt Garza as the second Rays pitcher to
throw a no-hitter when Young lined a 0-1 pitch to center field for a
Cobb had a four-run lead thanks to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who had
his first career multi home run game. Escobar ended a 56-game
drought with a three-run with two outs in the fourth and then made
it 4-0 with a solo shot to start the seventh.
Cobb wound up allowing one run and one out in 7 1/3 innings. He
struck out four, walked two, threw 66 of 102 pitches for strikes and
allowed two earned runs or less for the 12th consecutive start. Had
he been able to finish it off, it would have been the eighth time
the Yankees were no-hit and first time since six Houston Astros
combined on a no-hitter on June 11, 2003, at Yankee Stadium.
NOTES: New York LF Brett Gardner missed his fifth straight game with
an abdominal strain. Manager Joe Girardi said Gardner was feeling
better and hoped to return sometime this weekend in Baltimore. ...
INF-OF Martin Prado (hamstring) sat out for the sixth time in eight
games and remains day-to-day for the Yankees. ... New York DH Carlos
Beltran sat out a second straight game with right elbow soreness and
there was no further update. ... Jared Sandberg, who played third
base in that game, is the Rays' manager at Class A Charlotte and is
an extra coach on the trip. ... Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria is the
fourth third baseman to have at least six seasons with 20 home runs.
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