Brett Gardner hit a game-tying home run leading off the ninth and pinch hitter Mike Ford followed with a walk-off blast as the New York Yankees stormed back from a four-run deficit to record a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Gardner forged a 4-4 tie when he lined a 2-1 fastball by Liam Hendriks (4-2) into the right-center field seats. After Gardner’s 19th homer, Ford won it when he slammed a full-count fastball into the Yankees’ bullpen beyond the right-center field fence for his first career pinch-hit homer and first career walk-off hit.
Batting for Clint Frazier, Ford hit his 10th homer and gave New York its second straight walk-off win and sixth overall. As he rounded third and approached the plate, Ford flung his helmet into the air and then was doused with Gatorade at the plate by teammates.
Six outs away from being shut out for the first time in 220 games since June 30, 2018, against Boston, the Yankees stormed back in the eighth for three runs before picking up their second straight against Oakland after dropping their first four meetings with the A’s.
After getting within a run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Gleyber Torres off Lou Trivino and a two-run single under shortstop Marcus Semien’s glove by Didi Gregorius, the Yankees gave the ball to Adam Ottavino (6-4), who kept the A’s off the board to set up the walk-off heroics.
Rookie Sheldon Neuse drove in the game’s first two runs with a bases-loaded two-run double off Ryan Dull in the seventh. Oakland made it 3-0 on the next at-bat when Jurickson Profar scored on a groundout by Josh Phegley. A home run by Matt Olson in the eighth made it 4-0.
Returning from left shoulder surgery, Oakland’s Sean Manaea allowed a soft infield single by DJ LeMahieu in five scoreless innings in his season debut. He struck out five, walked three and threw 82 pitches.
Yusmeiro Petit pitched a scoreless sixth and Jake Diekman tossed a scoreless seventh before Oakland allowed the Yankees back in the game in the eighth.
New York left-hander J.A. Happ allowed one hit in six scoreless innings, his longest outing since July 30 against Arizona. The homer-prone Happ struck out five and worked around four walks to throw 98 pitches while being aided by two early double plays. Sunday was only the second time in Happ’s last nine outings he did not surrender a home run.
—Field Level Media