Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Aroldis Chapman and the host Minnesota Twins stormed back for a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees to avert a three-game sweep on Thursday night.
Minnesota posted its third walk-off win of the season by rallying against Chapman (4-1), who blew his second save in 14 chances and threw just nine pitches in the stunning comeback.
Jorge Polanco opened the ninth inning with a single to left field, and Josh Donaldson hit a 96 mph fastball into the back of the second deck over the left-field fence to tie the game at 5.
Following a single by pinch hitter Willians Astudillo, Cruz ended it when he slugged a first-pitch fastball 457 feet over the center-field fence. Cruz dropped his bat and watched the ball sail over the wall before completing his home run trot. He was met at the plate with a wild celebration by his teammates.
Cruz’s dramatic blast capped a four-RBI night for the veteran designated hitter. He lifted a sacrifice fly in the first inning and an RBI double in the seventh off Wandy Peralta.
Andrelton Simmons drove in Minnesota’s other run with a single in the fourth.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer in the first and Gio Urshela added a solo shot in the fourth for New York. DJ LeMahieu drove in New York’s other run with an RBI single in the sixth, but the Yankees lost for the 12th time in 17 games.
Former Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings. Four relievers followed and Hansel Robles (2-2) retired Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Stanton in the top of the ninth.
New York’s Michael King allowed two runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees took a 3-0 lead when Stanton hammered a 2-1 slider well over the center-field wall. After left fielder Miguel Andujar made a diving catch on Cruz’s sacrifice fly, Urshela homered off the facing of the second deck in left field to make it 4-1.
–Field Level Media