NEW YORK — Earlier in the season, the Yankees lost games like these.
New York fell behind early. The bullpen imploded, allowing a lead in the late innings to slip away. The bats struggled with runners in scoring position, failing to capitalize with the game on the line.
But this current group in pinstripes is different, a club that's been handling a barrage of adversity over the last several weeks, leaning on those that didn't factor into the depth chart as this club broke camp several months ago.
Rather than succumbing to a debilitating loss, the Yankees found a way to get the job done on Wednesday night against the Phillies, winning it in the bottom of the 10th on a pinch-hit, walk-off single from outfielder Ryan LaMarre.
The two clubs traded blows early on in the Bronx, taking a tie game into the seventh. That's when the Bombers stormed in front with an explosive inning.
Estevan Florial provided another spark, working a one-out walk. After swiping second (the Yankees' third steal of the night), the prospect scampered home on an RBI single off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton.
Two pitches later, Rougned Odor leaned into splitter from Philadelphia's Héctor Neris, sending a two-run homer soaring high into the second deck in right.
New York wouldn't hold onto that lead for long, though. Zack Britton loaded the bases to start the eighth before manager Aaron Boone summoned right-hander Nick Nelson out of the 'pen.
Nelson proceeded to allow three runs to score, permitting a two-run single through the left side before a wild pitch brought home the tying run. Boone explained after the game that Chad Green wasn't available, forcing him to stick with Nelson in that tough spot.
Nelson escaped the rest of the inning unscathed and after Aroldis Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth, New York had a chance to win it outright in the bottom of the frame. That's when Philadelphia tried their hardest to hand the Yankees a win, as Brad Miller whiffed on a fly ball in right to put the winning run on third base.
And yet, the Yankees still couldn't push that run across. Odor grounded out to first, resulting in DJ LEMahieu getting tagged out on a routine play at the plate. Then, Gary Sánchez popped out harmlessly to end the threat, sending the game to extras.
In the bottom of the 10th, with a left-hander on the mound, Boone called on outfielder Ryan LaMarre to pinch-hit for Brett Gardner with the winning run 90 feet away. He needed just one pitch to get the job done, skying a fly ball over the right fielder and up against the wall, more than enough for Sánchez to trot home from third.
Wednesday night's win wasn't pretty, but it's the Yankees' fourth in a row (with this current group of contributors called up from Triple-A) and their ninth in their last 12 games.
The improbable run continues, providing yet another boost of momentum heading into an incredibly important series against the Red Sox in Boston.
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