MINNEAPOLIS — After the Yankees and Twins pummeled each other’s relievers with one big swing after another, Aaron Hicks dove for an unforgettable catch to finally end a most memorable game.
Hicks, the Yankees’ center fielder, made a game-saving grab for the final out in the 10th inning, Didi Gregorius had five hits and seven R.B.I., and the Yankees beat Minnesota, 14-12, Tuesday night in a game that featured five lead changes or ties in the final three innings.
Just Aaron it out. pic.twitter.com/7yMlhpj6wv
“That’s one of those games that, for being late July, we’ll probably be talking about for a long time,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said.
Gleyber Torres scored Gregorius with an R.B.I. single in the top of the 10th and the Yankees tacked on another run on a wild pitch by Kohl Stewart (2-2). The two-run lead only stood thanks to Hicks’ all-out effort a half-inning later.
Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino walked the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, and then Chad Green allowed a drive to Max Kepler into the left-center field gap. Hicks ran it down and caught it with a sprawling, backhanded effort at the warning track, ending the game after 5 hours 3 minutes.
It was the fastest Hicks has run all season on an out he’s recorded, per Statcast.
“That was a do-or-die play,” Hicks said. “That was a play that needed to be made in order for the game to end.”
The Twins were ready to celebrate another late-inning win off the bat of Kepler, who has driven in the winning run in the team’s two walk-off wins this year, including Sunday’s victory against Oakland.
“It can be an emotional roller coaster if you let them get to you,” Kepler said. “But it’s baseball, it’s unpredictable. Main thing is we battled and that’s what we’ve been doing. Keep doing that.”
The madness began with the Yankees’ five-run eighth inning for a 10-9 lead. Mike Tauchman had an R.B.I. double, then Judge and Gregorius added two-run doubles. The inning ended when Gary Sanchez grounded out and was pulled with a groin injury.
Aroldis Chapman (3-2) earned the win after blowing his third save in six appearances and his sixth of the season in the ninth inning. He walked the first three batters, and Ehire Adrianza scored a tying run on Jorge Polanco’s sacrifice fly.
“I don’t think we could be, again, prouder of the effort we get from our players,” Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Our players do not quit. They never quit. They continued to do whatever they have to do to win and put ourselves in position to win, and it feels really good knowing that and showing up every day with these guys.”
Miguel Sano hit his second homer of the game in the eighth off Zack Britton to put Minnesota ahead 11-10. Hicks followed with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off closer Taylor Rogers, who blew his second save in three games and fifth of the season.
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