NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and a brilliant bullpen rescued New York from a rugged start and lifted the Yankees to their first postseason victory in five years.
Gregorius’ three-run homer tied the score after Minnesota knocked out Luis Severino in the first inning, a pumped-up Judge showed his most emotion this season when he hit a two-run shot in his playoff debut and the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 Tuesday night in the AL wild-card game.
Brett Gardner also homered for the Yankees, who chased Ervin Santana after two innings and once again eliminated the Twins from the playoffs.
Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman combined for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief, striking out 13 to tie the postseason record for a bullpen.
“It was just remarkable,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
New York opens a best-of-five Division Series on Thursday at the AL Central champion Indians.
“We’re not done yet,” Judge said.
The Twins lost their 13th consecutive postseason game, tying the record set by Boston from 1986-95.