Josh Donaldson hands over to New York Yankees as Grand Slam exit in 10th inning

Josh Donaldson He knows the ball left the court the second time it left his racket. And the New York Yankees needed this.

Down 7-4 going to the bottom of the 10th inning, they were facing a sweep by the Tampa Bay Rays and their fourth straight loss when Donaldson came to the plate in the overtime inning. But with the Grand Slam out of the park, Donaldson realized a win meant more to the Yankees in the bigger picture amid their toughest stretch of the season. The 8-7 win marked only their third win this month, having lost 11 games since the beginning of August.

“The players were pumped, and I think when we talked about how the game was progressing and how the back-and-forth battle happened there, we came back with our backs to the wall,” Donaldson said. “There was some joy and frustration.”

Reyes took the lead in the tenth inning when Francisco Mejia Double-laden base hit with two outs, scored roman queenAnd the Isaac Paredes And the Taylor Walls. Amidst the Yankees’ recent struggles with their belated relief and with them Clay Holmes He was put on the injured list earlier on Wednesday after his worst spell of the season, closer Aroldis Chapman It seems to exacerbate these issues, allowing two earned rounds to be made on one stroke in two-thirds of the stroke.

Even with New York’s chances of winning taking a big hit—down to 9.1% heading into the bottom half of the 10th, according to FanGraphs—the Yankees thought they could still score the victory.

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“We never lost vitality in the dugout when we were losing,” said third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera, who made his league debut on Wednesday. “That was the key to the day.”

with Aaron Judge Standing on the second base to start the inning, Jaleber Torres I knocked on one lane to the right field before walking four steps to the first baseman Anthony Rizzo Donaldson, the designated hitter, was brought to the board with a base load. With a 0-1 count, Donaldson took a zone hike and hit the 96.6 mph fastball out of the Gary Rise Galen Bex Over the fence, leading to the Yankee Stadium madness.

“Just a great fight all night. It obviously wasn’t easy for us,” Yankees coach Aaron Boone said. “We’re in the fight and we keep fighting, and it’s great to see that level of blows when it looked like we were stripped.”

With the Yankees struggling, there have been calls from the fan base for Donaldson’s seat to give the other players more time in the squad. So far in 2022, Donaldson has had one of the worst offensive seasons of his career, scoring .223/.307/.391 with 12 in 97 games, with two years and $50 million remaining on his contract. Despite the noise, Boone stuck with Donaldson, a decision that paid off at least Wednesday night.

“Huge,” Boone said. “He’s been grinding a lot, especially lately, trying to get on the right track.” “He’s a great player and a great hitter, and I think he’s going to be here for a long time, and that’s the biggest you can get there.”

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While the win didn’t break the streak in which the Yankees have lost their past five – against the Rays, Red Sox, Cardinals and Mariners (twice) – the evening represented at least a momentary breath of fresh air with the New York walk. away in dramatic fashion with a victory that seemed out of reach at the end of the tenth-place summit.

“Obviously with the stretch we’re going through, it was a fantastic victory, no doubt, against a really good team that’s hard to score against, especially when you’re as late as we were,” Boone said.

The key to the Yankees will be to win and turn it into momentum for a team that has looked like a shell of itself since the All-Star break.

“We know we’re a really good team,” Boone said. “We’re struggling now and we’re going through it.” “In essence, we know it’s a confident group. We have to focus and try to get through it, and that was something special we hope to look at with fondness.”

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