After missing most of September due to an oblique injury, Aaron Hicks returned to the Yankees lineup on Tuesday for their 6-1 victory over the Rays. Manager Joe Girardi gave Jacoby Ellsbury the night off and put Hicks out in center field. It didn't even take a full inning for Hicks to make the impact of his return felt.
Starter Jordan Montgomery quickly ran into trouble in the top of the first, loading the bases with no one out. He fanned Logan Morrison, but still had to face Wilson Ramos, a power threat with 10 homers in just 61 games entering Tuesday. Sure enough, Ramos connected on a changeup and sent it a long way to right-center field.
Hicks raced back to the warning track, leaped in the air ...
... and made an unbelievable catch to take a grand slam away. A run scored on the sacrifice fly, but that was a lot better than the Yankees falling behind, 4-0. His teammates were sent into a frenzy.
Luis Severino bowed with his hat from the top step of the dugout:
Montgomery might be a cool customer on the mound, but he had to give it up for the man who kept the Rays from breaking out:
Later on, Montgomery gave Hicks a hug and thanked him. "He really picked me up," Montgomery said to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "Hicksy is such a good athlete, anything around, he's going to have a chance. He made a good jump and a better snag. It was big."
Chasen Shreve, Chad Green and other members of the Yankees bullpen had the best view of the catch, and they couldn't believe what they just saw:
Rookie Tyler Wade tipped his cap, and though David Robertson wasn't in the bullpen with his fellow relievers, his jaw definitely dropped as well:
Hicks even gave himself a cheer:
We can't blame Hicks -- we're in awe, too.