NEW YORK — With 12 games remaining in the regular season and a postseason spot rapidly slipping away, it's all hands on deck for the Yankees to make sure they don't miss the playoffs.
On Monday night against the visiting Texas Rangers, it was the bullpen that came up clutch for those in pinstripes, twirling 4.2 scoreless innings to stave off a comeback and secure a 4-3 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Nestor Cortes Jr. started for the Yankees, finding a rhythm through his first four frames. When the Bombers put up three runs in the bottom of the third, extending their early lead to four runs, it looked like New York was in business to cruise past their lowly opponent.
In the fifth, however, the left-hander ran into some trouble, surrendering a solo shot to Rangers third baseman Charlie Culberson high off the foul pole in left. Two hits later and manager Aaron Boone pulled the plug, summoning right-hander Chad Green out of the bullpen.
Green allowed a sacrifice fly in that frame, but went on to shove 1.2 spotless frames. Clay Holmes, Joely Rodríguez and closer Aroldis Chapman finished the job from there.
Rodríguez was the only reliever that broke a sweat, facing former Yankees prospect Nick Solak with two runners on and two men out in the eighth. Rodriguez got Solak to offer on a changeup in the dirt, stranding both runners and ending the threat.
Chapman retired the side in order in the ninth, recording his 28th save of the season.
In the win, catcher Gary Sánchez clobbered his 22nd home run of the season, a solo shot to left field to get the scoring started in the second. A rally the following frame, including two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly, gave New York their final three runs scored on the night.
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