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May 15 – Another Friday Walk Off: Yanks Rally in 9th to Beat Twins 5-4

Melky Delivers, Gardner Excites the Fans with Inside-the-Park Home Run

NYY 2009 Stadium Logo(Bronx, NY) – It was deja vu from the last Friday night game on May 1.  This time Melky was the man and delivered a big 2-out bases loaded single to left center to send home the tying and winning runs, capping the 3-run rally against Minnesota’s tough closer Joe Nathan.

The game featured its usual set of long balls with the Twin’s Justin Morneau, who won last year’s home run derby at the old stadium some 300 yards away, blasting 2 long solo shots and Joe Mauer hitting

Melky is mobbed by winning pitcher Jose Veras and co.

Melky is mobbed by winning pitcher Jose Veras and co.

one to deep center into the net covering Monument Park.  For the Yanks Derek Jeter knocked his 5th of the year to right field to bring the score to 3-1.  But the most exciting occurred in the bottom of the 7th when Brett Gardner looped a drive down the left field line and Minnesota’s Denard Span misplayed it and it raced by him into the corner.  With the fan exhorting the speedy Gardner, he raced around the bases and slid home head first and actually beat the throw fairly easily.

The Yanks had the bases loaded a few times but could not convert.  But Gardner (3-3 with 8 total bases as a substitute for an ejected Damon) led off the 9th with another gap shot and ended up on 3rd with a leadoff triple.  Tex singled him home to get it to 4-3 and then A-Rod walked.  Matsui (with most fans expecting a bunt) struck out and Swisher ripped a shot that Morneau snagged for out #2 but the runners advanced.  Nathan intentionally walked Cano to setup the drama for Melky who knocked the first pitch for the big hit.  Jose Veras (2-1) got the win in relief.

See Yanks vs. Twins boxscore here.

Notes:  The Friday Night package is 4-0 with all games decided in late innings, including 3 of them via walk-offs!  Phil Hughes pitched better than his last two outings giving up 3 runs in 5 innings of work.

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