NEW YORK (AP) Harrison Bader hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees rallied for a 6-3 victory Monday night over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a four-game series between AL East playoff contenders.
Anthony Volpe scored the tying run in the seventh on a wild pitch by All-Star reliever Yennier Cano (1-1) before the Yankees completed the comeback ahead of a postgame fireworks show.
Giancarlo Stanton opened the eighth with a hard single off Cano, and Anthony Rizzo followed with a single against Danny Coulombe.
After showing bunt on the first pitch, Bader drove a 1-1 sweeper into the left-field seats for his seventh homer.
“I was only going to play it for one pitch probably there and then he did the rest,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Got a hanger and did good things with a hanger.”
Bader lifted his arms to celebrate the 415-foot drive as he rounded first base.
“It was cool,” he said. “The Bronx showed up tonight with the energy and we’re right in the middle of the season, right in the thick of it. So to get a win for them is great. I just wanted to round the bases, go back to my team and play defense and finish that game off.”
Bader has been on the injured list twice this season, for an oblique injury that delayed his 2023 debut until May 2 and a hamstring injury that cost him 16 games. The Yankees are 26-12 when he plays, and the New York native hit his first career go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or beyond.
Bader’s clutch drive came after he popped out on the first pitch with two on in the sixth against Baltimore starter Tyler Wells. After that, Bader got a pep talk from injured Yankees captain Aaron Judge in the dugout.
“It was a really good reminder from him, which I appreciate tremendously,” Bader said.
Volpe and Kyle Higashioka hit back-to-back homers in the fifth to start the comeback before Volpe scored on a headfirst slide in the seventh.
Tommy Kahnle (1-0) stranded former Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks in the eighth to keep it tied. Clay Holmes struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 10th save, capping 4 2/3 scoreless innings from the New York bullpen, which lowered its major league-best ERA to 2.83.
The second-place Orioles lost for the fifth time in six games and are three games ahead of third-place New York in the division standings.
Baltimore had 12 hits, matching its total from a three-game series against Minnesota, but also struck out 11 times.
“We had 12 hits and only scored three runs,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We had multiple opportunities to extend the lead a few times and that’s disappointing, but they just beat us with homers tonight."
All-Star catcher Adley Rutschman had three hits for Baltimore, including an RBI double, after announcing he will participate in the Home Run Derby next week in Seattle.
Cedric Mullins had a run-scoring bloop single and Ryan O’Hearn hit an RBI single as the Orioles opened a 3-0 lead through three innings against Domingo Germán.
Coming off the fourth perfect game in team history at Oakland last week, Germán allowed three runs - two earned - and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 32 curveballs after throwing the pitch 51 times against the Athletics.
Germán got a hand from the crowd when he headed out to the bullpen to warm up and received a nice ovation when he exited. Between innings, clips of his perfect game played on the videoboard.
“It meant a lot,” Germán said through a translator. “It was good to see all the fans showing support like that.”
Wells allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.
HAMLIN KICKS OFF HOPE WEEK
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who was resuscitated with CPR in a game against Cincinnati on Jan. 2 and cleared in April to resume football activities, was honored as the Yankees began their 14th annual HOPE Week events.
Earlier in the day, Hamlin participated in CPR training with several Yankees. Wearing a Babe Ruth jersey, Hamlin threw out the ceremonial first pitch along with former Fordham softball player Sarah Taffet and both participated in the exchange of lineup cards. Like Hamlin, Taffet was also resuscitated during a game in October 2021.
HICKS RETURNS TO BOOS
Hicks returned to the Bronx for the first time since the Yankees released him on May 25 and went 1 for 4.
He heard boos before each at-bat and fans booed during a brief tribute video before the Yankees batted in the second.
Before the game, he expressed his appreciation to the Yankees with an Instagram Story that read:
“Thank you to the Yankees organization for 8 years. I was blessed to be able to represent the city of New York."
Orioles: All-Star OF Austin Hays (bruised hip) and rookie INF Jordan Westburg (sore left hand) were held out of the lineup. Both players are feeling better, and testing on Westburg did not show a fracture.
Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (left rotator cuff strain) threw his second bullpen since going on the injured list June 8.
Baltimore RHP Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.66 ERA) opposes Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt (3-6, 4.37) for the second time this season Tuesday afternoon. Gibson allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings May 25 in New York.
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