NEW YORK, May 16, 1941 -- The Yankees got help from a familiar and not-so-familiar face on Friday afternoon, and they hope that the 6 to 5 victory over the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the ninth inning turns into something more than a little spark.
The familiar face, Joe DiMaggio, did his part early and late. He clouted a monstrous home run into the left-field bleachers in the third inning, then restored the hopes of the Yankee Stadium crowd of 5,616 fans in the ninth with his struggling club down by a run.
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DiMaggio, facing White Sox starter Thornton Lee, led off the final frame with a triple and then scored the tying run on a Joe Gordon single. White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes elected to have Lee walk Bill Dickey and Frank Crosetti intentionally, but that move backfired when pinch-hitter Red Ruffing singled in Gordon for the win.
DiMaggio's third-inning roundtripper added some fireworks to the proceedings. It landed near the third-deck exit, an area of the ballpark rarely reached.
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But backup catcher Buddy Rosar provided some extra fire. Rosar, batting .475 entering the matinee, went 2-for-3, doubled, scored a run, threw a runner out at second base, and was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
The Yankees remain 6 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians, but they evened their season record at 15-15 and will look to carry Friday's momentum into the weekend.
On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his legendary 56-game hitting streak. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of that seemingly unbreakable record, we'll be doing a day-by-day account of the momentous feat.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.