Only three weeks into May, this was a classic worthy of October.
Gleyber Torres homered late and singled home the winning run in the ninth inning as the Yankees — moments after a turning a clutch triple play — beat the Chicago White Sox, 2-1, Friday night following one of the most dominant displays of starting pitching in major league history.
White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon and counterpart Jordan Montgomery combined for 24 strikeouts during the first game since 1900 in which both starters had at least 10 strikeouts while permitting no runs or walks, according to Stats.
“Two very good teams in the A.L., two playoff contenders. You got the feel of it played in that atmosphere,” Rodon said.
After arriving at Yankee Stadium with the American League’s best record, Chicago put two runners on to open the ninth against closer Aroldis Chapman (3-0) in a tension-filled game that offered a little bit of everything.
Prized rookie Andrew Vaughn hit a sharp grounder toward third, where Gio Urshela stepped on the bag and went around the horn. Second baseman Rougned Odor’s throw just nipped Vaughn and suddenly ended the inning as first baseman Luke Voit made a long stretch.
Chapman, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 18 appearances this year, pumped a fist and smiled wide coming off the mound.
“So exciting,” he said through a translator. “It’s one of those plays that you don’t see every day.”
Aaron Judge singled leading off the bottom half against Evan Marshall (0-2), who pitched out of a major jam in the eighth by getting a line-drive double play. Judge went to second on Urshela’s single and slid safely across the plate after Torres ripped a sharp single through the left side for his fifth career walk-off hit and second in two weeks.
“Just be simple. I think that is my key,” he said.
The Yankees (26-19) have won 15 of 20 and moved a season-high seven games over .500.
Featuring a wipeout slider that tied right-handed hitters in knots as it swept across the plate, Rodon paired that 85-87 mile-per-hour signature pitch with a pinpoint 97-98 m.p.h. fastball to strike out a career-high 13 in six innings of two-hit ball. He was pulled by Hall of Fame Manager Tony La Russa after 95 pitches.
Rodon, nearly perfect in a no-hitter April 14 against Cleveland, is putting together a sensational breakout season. On this night, he became the first pitcher to strike out the first five Yankees batters in a road game since Dodgers great Sandy Koufax in the 1963 World Series opener, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Montgomery wasn’t quite as overpowering — but just as effective. He struck out a career-best 11 and scattered four hits over seven innings, throwing 68 of 90 pitches for strikes.
“He’s getting better and better,” Torres said.
Both left-handers bailed out teammates after big defensive blunders, too. Each one was coming off a rough outing — Rodon a loss to Kansas City that marked his first of the season following five straight wins.
“Just happy I picked up my teammates,” Montgomery said.
Torres homered off Michael Kopech to the short right-field porch in the seventh, a drive projected at 345 feet that would not have left any other ballpark in the majors, according to Statcast.
Chicago tied it on Nick Madrigal’s check-swing R.B.I. single in the eighth off Jonathan Loaisiga, a flare into shallow right field that ended New York’s shutout streak at 29 innings.
Yoan Moncada then sent what appeared to be a base hit into right, but a savvy Judge deked Madrigal into thinking he might catch the soft line drive on a fly. Madrigal held up, Judge grabbed the ball on a hop and threw out Madrigal at second base for a fielder’s choice.
“The outcome wasn’t the one we were expecting, but we played a good game,” White Sox slugger Jose Abreu said.
Khalil Lee’s First Major League Hit Is a Big One
Rookie Khalil Lee hit a tiebreaking R.B.I. double in the 12th inning for his first major league hit after strikeouts in his first eight at-bats — a major league record — and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 6-5, Friday.
Jake Hager’s leadoff single in the Mets 12th off Adam Cimber (0-1) advanced the automatic runner to third. After Lee’s hit, Johneshwy Fargas hit a two-run triple but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into an inside-the-park homer.
The Mets won despite totaling only eight hits against 10 Miami pitchers. The Miami bullpen retired 15 consecutive batters during one stretch.
The Marlins debuted uniforms with bright red pinstripe jerseys honoring the Cuban Sugar Kings, who won the Triple-A championship in 1959.
Miami’s Garrett Cooper tied the game with a two-run homer in the seventh, his fourth. But he struck out against Trevor May with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
Drew Smith (1-0) stranded a runner at third in the 11th. Jacob Barnes got the game’s final out for his first save since 2018.
The Marlins went 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position. They fell to 4-9 in one-run games.
The Mets’ Marcus Stroman allowed two runs in six-plus innings and struck out eight, but he remained winless since April 18.
Stroman departed after giving up a leadoff walk in the seventh, and Cooper followed with his homer off Miguel Castro.
Francisco Lindor and Tomas Nido contributed R.B.I. doubles for the Mets. Lindor drove home the first run in the first inning, and he scored from second on a flyout when center fielder Magneuris Sierra made an errant throw to third.
Nido’s R.B.I. double came in the fourth, but he was thrown out by Sierra trying to score on a two-out single.
Before the game the Mets placed first baseman Pete Alonso (sprained right hand) and right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter (lower back pain) on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Wednesday. An M.R.I. was planned for Hunter.
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