Yankees rally from four down to slay Astros

League: MLB

Posted on: 28 Mar, 2024 at 11:16 PM

Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge doubled and scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning as the New York Yankees erased an early four-run deficit and topped the Houston Astros 5-4 Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

Judge ignited the rally off former Astros closer Ryan Pressly (0-1) with a leadoff double into the left-field corner. After advancing to third base two batters later when Anthony Rizzo singled to left field, Judge later scored on Alex Verdugo's sacrifice fly to left, giving the Yankees a one-run lead.

Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0) worked two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory. Ian Hamilton tossed a scoreless eighth inning before Clay Holmes notched the save in the ninth, working around three singles -- thanks in large part to an outfield assist from right fielder Juan Soto, who erased Mauricio Dubon as he tried to score from second base on Kyle Tucker's one-out single.

Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes rebounded from a rocky first inning to work five solid frames, laying the groundwork for the comeback.

Cortes labored through a 33-pitch bottom of the first, issuing walks to Tucker and Jose Abreu before surrendering a two-run single to Chas McCormick and an RBI single to Yainer Diaz, with Diaz spotting the Astros a 3-0 lead.

Jake Meyers led off the second with a 415-foot blast to left, extending the Houston lead to 4-0. But Cortes settled down soon thereafter, retiring seven consecutive batters and 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. He allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Astros left-hander Framber Valdez labored with his control, issuing six walks before departing with two outs in the fifth when he hit Rizzo with a pitch that forced home Oswaldo Cabrera. Valdez mitigated his issues by inducing inning-ending double plays in the first, second and fourth innings. But Soto struck for an RBI single in the fifth, an inning Valdez did not complete.

Anthony Volpe greeted Astros reliever Seth Martinez with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth. Cabrera pulled the Yankees even with a solo home run off Rafael Montero in the sixth.

--Field Level Media