MINNEAPOLIS — When Gerrit Cole walked off the field, shoulders and head down, the Yankees on a four-run hole, there was no panic, there was no worry. They sent him away with a promise.
“We got you, we got you,” Joey Gallo said. “We know we are going to come back in this game. That’s the kind of attack we have and that’s the kind of team we have.”
On a night when Cole, the Yankees’ star player and their highest paid player, had nothing, it was wrestlers Gallo and Aaron Hicks who helped catch him. Gallo hit two homers, Hicks hit his first in nearly two months, and the bullpen cleared as the Yankees rebounded to a 10-7 win over the Twins at Target Field.
It was the Yankees’ 16th comeback win (41-16), who won their 16th series of the season and held the best record in baseball. The Twins (33-26) have dropped to 37-95 against the Yankees since 2002.
“Tonight, obviously, coming back from a huge hole that I put them in and being able to continue to have consistency on the sticks and once we have the lead we will continue to move forward. It’s just stunning,” Cole said. “It’s really impressive.”
Cole allowed seven runs in eight hits, which included five home runs in just 2.1 innings of work. Lucas Luetge equaled Coles’ 2.1 innings but kept the Twins goalless. Miguel Castro gave the Yankees 1.1 goalless innings and then Michael King, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes gave the Bombers a goalless inning.
It only took eight throws for the twins to get to Cole. Luis Arraez crushed a 2-2 move from 396 feet to right center field. Byron Buxton jumped on the first pitch he saw, an 88-mile-per-hour slider for a 422-foot home run. Carlos Correa needed just two pitches, hammering a 0-1, 94 mph cutter at 413 feet for back-to-back home runs.
Cole had never allowed threes in an inning, and no Yankees pitcher had ever given up home runs to the game’s first three batters.
But Buxton and the Twins weren’t done with him.
Cole dropped out of a single for Jose Miranda and then left with Arraez. Buxton started a 92 mph mower for his second homer of the night. Trevor Larnach hit the Twins’ fifth homer with one out in the third and then Gio Urshela hit a strong double in the center-right gap that hit the wall.
“That was a struggle,” Cole said. “I mean, things were right in the middle of the plate. I mean, tone after tone, it felt like… credit to them, they got their A swings on pitches they were supposed to hit. Obviously they are super talented. They have really good hitters, but man, that was tough. I mean, it’s just really bad execution. And not just good things and I never found a way to try to make them better.”
Offense and bullpen improved for the Yankees.
Gallo hit his first, a two-run shot that went 427 feet and over the right field seats, in the second inning. The outfielder fighter hit his second of the night and eighth of the season to lead the fifth round. It was the 15th time in his career that he had hit two homers in one game. DJ LeMahieu followed it up with a solo shot, the 100th home run of his career. Hicks hit his second home run of the season, a two-run kick and his first since April 12, to tie the game. It was also his first left-handed home home this season. .
“I feel like with this team, we never feel like we’re out of a game,” Hicks said. “We are a team that can score a lot of races.”
Aaron Judge doubled the center-left barrier and scored on Anthony Rizzo’s single. Hicks’ only score, Josh Donaldson, in the same seventh inning, gave the Yankees a two-run lead. The Yankees ran their 10th wild field run on top of their eighth.
“It’s nice to see the ball go over the fence. I would like to see a lot more of these,” Gallo said. “And it’s good to see guys like Hicks, who are working hard, getting results now too. It’s nice to be able to contribute to the team. So it was good overall.”