MINNEAPOLIS — As Gerrit Cole walked off the field, shoulders and head down, the Yankees in a four-run hole, there was no panic, no worry. They sent him off with a promise.
“We got you, we got you,” Joey Gallo said. “We know we’re gonna come back in this game. That’s the kind of offense we have and that’s the kind of team that we have.”
On a night when Cole, the Yankees ace and their highest paid player, didn’t have anything, it was the struggling Gallo and Aaron Hicks who helped pick him up. Gallo hit two homers, Hicks hit his first in nearly two months and the bullpen cleaned up as the Yankees rallied for a 10-7 win over the Twins at Target Field.
It was the 16th come-from-behind win for the Yankees (41-16), who won their 16th series of the season and maintained the best record in baseball. The Twins (33-26) dropped to 37-95 against the Yankees since 2002.
“Tonight, obviously, climbing back from a huge hole that I put them in and being able to keep on having consistent at bats and once we get the lead continue to tack on. It’s just impressive,” Cole said. “It’s really impressive.”
Cole allowed seven runs on eight hits, which included a career-high five home runs in just 2.1 innings of work. Lucas Luetge matched Coles’ 2.1 innings, but he held the Twins scoreless. Miguel Castro gave the Yankees 1.1 scoreless innings and then Michael King, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes all gave the Bombers a scoreless inning.
It took just eight pitches for the Twins to get to Cole. Luis Arraez crushed a 2-2 changeup 396 feet to right center field. Byron Buxton jumped on the first pitch he saw, an 88-mile an hour slider for a 422-foot home run. Carlos Correa needed just two pitches, hammering a 0-1, 94-mile an hour cutter 413 feet for back-to-back-to-back home runs.
Cole had never allowed three in one inning and no Yankee pitcher had ever given up home runs to the first three batters of the game.
But, Buxton and the Twins weren’t done with him.
Cole gave up a one-out single to Jose Miranda and then walked Arraez. Buxton turned on a 92-mile an hour cutter for his second homer of the night. Trevor Larnach hammered the Twins fifth homer with one out in the third and then Gio Urshela hit a double hard in the right-center field gap that got to the wall.
“That was a struggle,” Cole said. “I mean, stuff was just over the middle of the plate. I mean, pitch after pitch it just seemed like …. credit to them they got their A swings on pitches that they should hit. Obviously they’re super talented. They have really good hitters, but boy, that was tough. I mean, it’s just really poor execution. And just not great stuff and never really found a way to try to make it any better.”
The offense and bullpen made it better 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 struggling outfielder hit his second of the night and eighth of the season to lead off the fifth inning. It was the 15th time in his career he’s hit two homers in a game. DJ LeMahieu followed him with a solo shot, the 100th home run of his career. Hicks hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot and his first since April 12, to tie the game. It was also his first left-handed homer this season. .
“I just feel like with this team, we just don’t ever feel like we’re out of a game,” Hicks said. “We’re a team that can score a lot of runs.”
Aaron Judge doubled off the left-center field wall and scored on Anthony Rizzo’s single. Hicks’ single scoring Josh Donaldson in the same seventh inning gave the Yankees a two-run lead. The Yankees brought in their 10th run on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth.
“Nice to see the ball go over the fence. I’d like to see a lot more of those,” Gallo said. “And it’s nice to see guys like Hicks, who’s been working his butt off, getting results now as well. Feels good that we can contribute to the team. So it was a good one overall.”