NEW YORK — When the Yankees failed to score with runners on first and third and nobody out in the bottom of the eighth, a crowd of 14,011 fans at Yankee Stadium was as quiet as can be.
A triple play and walk-off single in the ninth inning had that same crowd explode louder than it's been all season long in the Bronx.
In a game where the Yankees and White Sox combined to strikeout 26 times, with no runs scored until the seventh inning, New York's pair of clutch plays provided just enough for a 2-1 win.
Chasing reliever Michael Kopech with back-to-back singles to start the home half of the eighth, New York was in prime position to not just take the lead, but blow the game open in the bottom of the eighth.
This comes after Chicago's starter Carlos Rodón struck out 13 over six frames, allowing just two hits along the way.
An out at home plate and a line drive double play sucked the life out of the Bombers' rally. All of a sudden, the White Sox were back in the driver's seat.
Moments later, the first two batters reached against Aroldis Chapman in the top of the ninth. A leadoff walk and a slow roller in front of the mound had the closer on the ropes.
That all changed when White Sox left fielder Andrew Vaughn rolled over on a 1-1 slider, sending a hard ground ball to third base
Gio Urshela gobbled it up, stepping on the bag to his right for one. He then fired a strike to Rougned Odor at second for two. The relay to Luke Voit at first was just in time, getting Chapman and the Yankees out of the jam in dramatic fashion.
"Right away, it popped in my head, actually," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the win. "Gio being as instinctive as he is obviously did the right thing quickly stepped on the bag, through a strike to Rougie who really turned it over well to really finish off a special play and get us out of trouble there."
The triple play was the first turned by the Yankees since 2014. That kind of defensive play is special in any context, but it couldn't have come at a bigger time in the ninth of a tied ballgame.
Boone called the play an "energy give," sparking momentum on offense as the team returned to the dugout. And sure enough, New York's bats wasted no time getting the job done.
Against Chicago's Evan Marshall, the Yankees rattled off three base hits in a row. Aaron Judge set the table by ripping a single up the middle, Urshela followed with a line drive to shallow right and Gleyber Torres stroked a walk-off single through the left side, his second game-winning hit of the season.
"Every time when I get that opportunity, I forget what I did before," Torres said. "I just focus on that exact moment. Every time I just try to be simple, that is my key ... Try to help my team and put the ball in play."
Torres also accounted for the other Yankees' run, a solo home run off Kopech in the seventh.
New York wouldn't have been in this game at all if Jordan Montgomery didn't throw seven scoreless innings as well. The lefty set a new career-high with 11 strikeouts, baffling the league's best lineup when facing southpaws.
Friday night was the first time in Yankees franchise history that New York turned a triple play and won on a walk-off in the same game. It also comes just two days after Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter in Texas, the first no-no of the century by a Yankees pitcher.
- Will Aaron Hicks Play Again This Season After Wrist Surgery?
- Yankees' Miguel Andújar Making The Most Of His Opportunity
- MLB Insider Calls Joey Gallo 'Perfect Fit' For Yankees