Luke Voit the hero as Yankees win a crazy one over Royals

Jun 24, 2021
Luke Voit the hero as Yankees win a crazy one over Royals

A late, go-ahead home run.

Another blown save from the closer.

And then a game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth.

The Yankees packed a lot of drama into the final two innings Wednesday in The Bronx and came away with a 6-5 win over the Royals when Luke Voit drilled a liner off the wall in left to score Tyler Wade from second base with the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

It came in just Voit’s second game back from the injured list after being sidelined with a strained oblique in what has been a miserable season for him.

“It’s been a rough year for me,’’ Voit said. “This team has a bunch of good players and this is the type of win, coming back twice and winning in a big way, that gets us on a good hot streak.”

The Yankees, still trying to find their form, need the first baseman to deliver like he has the last two seasons — and he has in each of the last two nights.

Luke Voit celebrates after belting the game-winning single in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 6-5 comeback win over the Royals.
Luke Voit celebrates after belting the game-winning single in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 6-5 comeback win over the Royals.
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After the suddenly vulnerable Aroldis Chapman blew a save and let the Royals go up by a run in the top of the ninth, Gary Sanchez got the closer off the hook with a one-out homer to left off Greg Holland to tie the game at 5-5.

Giancarlo Stanton followed with a single to right and was replaced by Wade, who moved to second on a wild pitch.

Voit then crushed a pitch to the wall in left and Wade came around and scored easily, as the Yankees avoided a second straight loss to the Royals.

Chapman, who’s been dealing with a nail issue that Aaron Boone said was no longer a problem, struck out Hunter Dozier before Michael A. Taylor singled to bring up pinch-hitter Hanser Alberto.

After whiffing Alberto, Chapman allowed a single to Whit Merrifield and then walked Carlos Santana intentionally to load the bases for Sebastian Rivero, who replaced catcher Salvador Perez in the fourth inning.

Chapman disagreed with the decision to give Santana a free pass and reacted angrily in the dugout after the inning.

“It backfired a little bit,’’ Boone said of the decision. “But I felt like it was the right thing to do in the moment.”

Chapman walked Rivero on four pitches, none of them close, to force in a run and tie the game.

Ryan O’Hearn hit a dribbler to third that went for an infield hit to give the Royals the lead.

Still, Voit was confident heading into the bottom of the inning.

“They had to go through the heart of our order,’’ Voit said. “I knew we’d put ourselves in an opportunity to win.”

The Yankees had already come back in the bottom of the eighth, when they trailed by a run. Rougned Odor crushed a two-run homer to right-center to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.

It came after Zack Britton allowed a go-ahead homer in the top of the inning, and after Voit struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, when the score was still tied.

But the Yankees got another big hit from Odor, who has mostly been a non-factor at the plate, but can still provide occasional pop, which is why he remains on the roster.

Gleyber Torres led off the inning with a walk against left-hander Jake Brentz, but Miguel Andujar grounded into a double play to bring up Clint Frazier with two out.

Frazier drew a four-pitch walk.

With Gio Urshela unavailable after getting hit in the shin on Tuesday, Odor faced the lefty Brentz and hit his eighth homer of the season.

The victory came after Chad Green made his earliest appearance of the season, taking over for Michael King in the fifth. He retired all seven batters he faced, giving the Yankees a chance to overcome another slow start from the offense, which they did.

“Those guys are resilient and they’re fighting,’’ Boone said. “We understand how tough the season has been so far and we continue to grind and continue to fight.”

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