Thursday September 20th, 2018 3:04AM

Gregorius, Judge, bullpen rally wild-card Yanks past Twins

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and a brilliant bullpen rescued New York from a rugged start and lifted the Yankees to their first postseason win in five years.

Gregorius' three-run homer tied the score after Minnesota knocked out Luis Severino in the first inning, a pumped-up Judge showed his most emotion this season when he hit a two-run shot in his postseason debut and the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 Tuesday night in the AL wild-card game.

Brett Gardner also homered for the Yankees, who chased Ervin Santana after two innings and once again knocked the Twins out of the playoffs.

Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman combined for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief.

New York opens the AL Division Series on Thursday at AL Central Cleveland. The Twins lost their 13th consecutive postseason game, tying the record set by Boston from 1986-95.

Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run and Eddie Rosario hit a two-run drive as the Twins burst to a quick lead and stunned the sellout crowd of 49,280 at Yankee Stadium.

But Santana was little better than Severino, going to full counts on eight of 11 batters. Gregorius erased the lead four batters into the bottom of the first, and Santana was removed after six outs and 64 pitches with the Twins trailing 4-3.

Minnesota, the first team to rebound from a 100-loss season and make the playoffs the following year, has been eliminated by the Yankees in five of its last six postseason appearances and has not won a playoff series since 2002.

Judge, the 6-foot-7 sensation who set a rookie record with 52 home runs, was given a Ruthian ovation, with several sections of fans holding signs in his honor spelling out "All Rise!" He scored three runs, singling to help ignite the first-inning rally, smoking a 108 mph home run off loser Jose Berrios in the fourth and walking in the seventh and coming home when Alan Busenitz walked Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded.

New York had made just one postseason appearance since 2012, losing the 2015 wild-card game to Houston 3-0. Just three Yankees who started that game were in the starting lineup, part of a Baby Bombers movement that purged the roster of veterans.

At 23, Severino was the youngest Yankees postseason starter since Andy Pettitte in 1995. The right-hander lasted only 29 pitches on a crisp autumn night and matched the Yankees' shortest postseason start, by Bob Turley in Game 2 of the 1958 World Series and Art Ditmar in the 1960 World Series opener. Dozier homered into the left-field seats on a 99 mph fastball and Rosario lined a slider just over the right-field short porch.

Severino was shaking his head as walked to the dugout and Green replaced him with runners at second and third. Green struck out Byron Buxton and Jason Castro, then fanned three in a row in the second.

Green gave up Jorge Polanco's single and a pair of walks in the third. Robertson came in with the bases loaded and Buxton's RBI grounder, then struck out Castro.

Robertson tired in the sixth but earned the win, leaving after 52 pitches and 3 1/3 innings — both career highs.

Kahnle relieved with a runner on and retired Joe Mauer on a flyout to the warning track. After Kahnle threw 2 1/3 innings, Chapman struck out three around a hit the ninth.

A pitcher named Santana — Johan Santana — beat the Yankees for the Twins' last postseason win in 2004. But Ervin Santana contributed to a first inning that lasted 45 minutes and three innings that took 1:43, and his career postseason ERA climbed to 6.57.

Gardner walked leading off, Judge poked a bloop single to center and Gregorius lined a fastball over the right-field scoreboard. Brushed off the plate by a 2-2 pitch in the second, Gardner sent Santana's next offering into the second deck in right for a 4-3 lead.

Green struck the side in the second, but left in the third after a leadoff single and two walks loaded the bases. Buxton hit into a run-scoring forceout before Robertson struck out Castro, and the Yankees went ahead for good in the bottom half when Gary Sanchez doubled off Berrios leading off and scored on Greg Bird's two-out single.


After a moment of silence for victims of the Las Vegas shooting, Broadway star Aaron Tveit asked fans to join him in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Players on both teams remained at attention on the field until the color guard reached the foul line. Yankees pitcher Chasen Shreve, a Las Vegas native, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.


When the Yankees last won a postseason game, Judge was at Fresno State. Bird had just finished a season with the Class A Staten Island Yankees, Sanchez with the Class A Tampa Yankees and Severino with the Dominican Summer League Yankees.


Zack Granite replaced Buxton in the fourth, two innings after the center fielder crashed into the wall robbing Todd Frazier of an extra-base hit.


Twins 3B-DH Miguel Sano was ruled out after practice Monday. "When he tried to take his swings, it was just too prohibitive as far as not being able to use his front leg as a bracing leg," manager Paul Molitor said. "It was emotional for him because I know he wants to play."


RHP Masahiro Tanana (13-12) is likely to start Thursday for the Yankees against the Indians and Trevor Bauer (17-9).


More AP baseball:

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gregorius, Judge, bullpen rally wild-card Yanks past Twins
Didi Gregorius' three-run homer tied the score after Minnesota knocked out Luis Severino in the first inning, a pumped-up Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer in his postseason debut and the New York Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 in the AL wild-card game
12:04AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: VX-tainted samples examined in Malaysia trial
Prosecutors and defense lawyers examined samples where VX nerve agent was found in the death of the half brother of North Korea's leader
12:00AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Families detail victims' lives: 'Nothing but good memories'
Families and friends across the United States and Canada are mourning _ and celebrating _ the lives of at least 59 people who died when a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas Sunday night
11:16PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Basketball ref sues Kentucky media company over harassment
College basketball referee John Higgins files civil lawsuit against Kentucky media company for allegedly inciting harassment
10:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sabres agree to sign Eichel to 8-year, $80 million contract
The Buffalo Sabres have reached an agreement to sign their franchise player, Jack Eichel, to an eight-year, $80 million contract.
8:23PM ( 3 hours ago )
Manfred hopeful of agreement for pace of play rule changes
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful the league and players' union will agree to changes to speed pace of play
8:21PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
New Marlins owner Jeter mum on future of Stanton, Mattingly
Derek Jeter says he'll learn on the job as he tries to lead the Miami Marlins out of the wilderness
3:02PM ( 9 hours ago )
Mets fire longtime pitching coach and head trainer
Following a painful season, the injury-riddled New York Mets are making changes to their coaching staff and medical department
2:17PM ( 9 hours ago )
Yankees slugger Judge leads jersey sales, followed by 2 Cubs
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had the top-selling jersey in major league baseball in 2017, followed by Chicago Cubs stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo
1:39PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
As calendar flips to October, the MLB postseason from A to Z
As calendar flips to October, the MLB postseason from A to Z
8:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Yankees, Twins renew one-sided rivalry in AL wild-card game
Upstart Yankees, Twins renew one-sided playoff rivalry in AL wild-card game
6:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Derek Jeter's group closes on purchase of Miami Marlins
Derek Jeter's group closed on its purchase of the Miami Marlins, and he and new controlling owner Bruce Sherman will speak publicly for the first time about the deal at a news conference Tuesday
4:15PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Families detail victims' lives: 'Nothing but good memories'
Families and friends across the United States and Canada are mourning _ and celebrating _ the lives of at least 59 people who died when a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas Sunday night
11:16PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Japan, Hong Kong shares follow Wall St higher in quiet trade
Asian shares are mostly higher in holiday-thinned trading as investors take their lead from Wall Street's latest advance into record territory
11:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Court asked to restore details of Kim Jong Nam post-mortem
Prosecutors are seeking to restore expunged details in the post-mortem report in the poisoning death of the sibling of North Korea's leader
10:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Vegas gunman transferred $100K, set up cameras at hotel room
Authorities say the Las Vegas gunman transferred $100,000 overseas in the days before the attack and also set up cameras inside and outside his high-rise hotel room, apparently to spot anyone coming for him
10:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
Report: Anti-abortion US rep asked girlfriend to get one
A Pittsburgh newspaper is reporting that an anti-abortion congressman asked a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair to have an abortion when he thought she might be pregnant
10:44PM ( 1 hour ago )