NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius hit a two-run home run off Rangers closer Sam Dyson with one out in the ninth to give the Yankees a dramatic 9-7, walk-off victory on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were down by five runs heading into the bottom of the eighth before coming back and snapping the Rangers' four-game winning streak.
The Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak with their largest comeback of the season. It was their third walk-off win of the year.
"You know you've got a lot of work to do," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of his team's chances of mounting the comeback. "You know if you get a couple guys on, you get some guys coming up that could hit the ball out of the ballpark. And that's what we did."
The Yankees trailed 7-3 going into the ninth before Rob Refsnyder scored when center fielder Ian Desmond made an error trying to field Brett Gardner's single and Brian McCann tied it up with a three-run home run. It was his second home run on the night and it was the first time a Yankee had hit a game-tying home run in the ninth with the team down by three runs since Shelley Duncan on Aug. 15, 2007, against the Orioles.
Dyson then walked Starlin Castro, and Gregorius hit a first-pitch changeup into the right-field bleachers for the game-winning shot. Dyson had been successful in 16 straight save opportunities before letting this one get away.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees had not come back from a deficit of four or more runs in the ninth inning or later since Sept. 22, 2012, against Oakland. The last time the Yankees scored six or more runs in an inning to win in the ninth or later was against the Indians on April 19, 2007, when they were down 6-2 and scored six in the ninth to win, 8-6, with Alex Rodriguez hitting a walk-off three-run homer off Joe Borowski, who gave up all six runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bush can't close the deal: Rangers reliever Matt Bush worked his way out of an eighth-inning jam by getting Chase Headley on a fly to left and striking out Aaron Hicks. But he couldn't keep it going in the ninth, giving up a single to Refsnyder and walking Jacoby Ellsbury. That forced manager Jeff Banister to go with Dyson to try and save the game.
"We were going to go out by out with Matt in the ninth," Banister said. "I felt good about the matchups. We just didn't close it out."
Mazara works Tanaka: Rangers rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara showed terrific patience at the plate when he came up with the bases loaded and nobody out in the third against Masahiro Tanaka. Mazara laid off bad pitches, worked the count full and then lined a double into the right-center gap to bring home three runs.
"Mazara, when he is seeing the ball well, he's getting good swings and putting the barrel on it," Banister said.
Changing the narrative: Until the ninth inning rolled around, the Yankees were awful with runners on base, and it looked like they were going to lose for the fourth straight game. They began the game 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but all of that changed in the final frame, when Gardner and McCann both converted huge hits with men on second, accounting for the four runs the Yankees needed to tie the game up. After losing a gut-wrenching game in similar fashion Monday night, the win for the Yankees flipped the perception of the series, and possibly of the season. More >
"It can be huge," McCann said of what this win can mean for the Yankees. "Again, we haven't been playing our best baseball this year. But, at the same time, we dug ourselves a hole early in April and we're getting out of it right now. We've just got to continue to play good baseball."
Tanaka can't get strike three: During Tanaka's nightmare third inning, the ace twice worked Rangers batters into two-strike counts but couldn't get the putout. Desmond forced Tanaka to throw three extra pitches after working him to a 2-2 count to draw a walk, and after falling behind 1-2, Mazara worked the count full before hitting his bases-clearing double.
"I just wanted to get an at-bat, I'm not going to lie." -- Gregorius, on what was going through his mind before McCann's home run
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Both of McCann's home runs Wednesday night were hit to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, the very porch he was brought to the Bronx to exploit. And exploit the porch he has: 42 of the 61 home runs McCann has hit since joining the Yankees have been at home.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches for the Rangers in Thursday's series finale against the Yankees in the Bronx (first pitch is 12:05 p.m. CT). The Rangers have won a club-record 10 straight day games.
Yankees:Michael Pineda will take the mound for the Yankees on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET, looking to build off his best start of the season last Saturday. Pineda baffled the Twins' lineup, allowing just two hits and striking out eight in six innings. He finished with a no-decision.