AL Wildcard: New York Yankees stage comeback win against Minnesota Twins

NEW YORK — Luis Severino was knocked out just one out into the first inning, but Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first, and the New York Yankees stormed back for an 8-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the American League wild-card game on Tuesday.

Gregorius got the Yankees right back in the game after Severino was booed off the mound for allowing three runs and four hits. Homers from Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner helped New York grab a 7-4 lead after four innings, and the Yankees’ bullpen took it from there.

After Severino’s short outing, four New York relievers combined on the final 26 outs. Chad Green allowed one run in two innings before David Robertson (1-0) pitched a career-high 3 1/3 scoreless innings and was awarded the win by the official scorer.

Tommy Kahnle delivered 2 1/3 scoreless frames, and Aroldis Chapman finished it off after allowing a hit and striking out three in the ninth.

Greg Bird added a RBI single as the Yankees earned their first postseason win since beating the Baltimore Orioles in Game 5 of the AL Division Series on Oct. 12, 2012. The Yankees advanced to face the defending AL champion Indians in the AL Division Series starting Thursday in Cleveland.

Aaron Hicks drove in New York’s final run with a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.

Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario homered off Severino for Minnesota, which dropped its 13th straight postseason game since Oct. 5, 2004, at Yankee Stadium.

Byron Buxton drove in the other Minnesota run before leaving with a back injury.

Minnesota’s Ervin Santana allowed three hits and four runs in two innings. Jose Berrios (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits in three frames.

The Twins stunned the crowd by taking a 3-0 lead during a 21-minute top of the first.

Five pitches in, Dozier slugged a 99 mph fastball into the first row of the left-field seats. After Jorge Polanco drew a one-out walk, Rosario lifted a 1-1 slider into the first row of the right-field seats.

Rosario’s homer prompted Green to begin warming up, and the reliever entered after Severino gave up a single to Eduardo Escobar and a double to Max Kepler.

Green prevented further damage by striking out Buxton and Jason Castro.

The Yankees wasted little time coming back, opening the first with a walk by Gardner and a base hit by Judge. After Santana retired Gary Sanchez, Gregorius lifted a full-count fastball well into the right-field seats to tie the game 3-3.

Gardner made it 4-3 when he sent a full-count fastball into the right-field seat moments after Buxton crashed into the center field wall to rob Todd Frazier of an extra-base hit.

Minnesota loaded the bases against Green with one out in the third and tied the game at 4 when Buxton beat out a potential double-play ball as Polanco scored.

New York quickly broke the deadlock in the bottom of the third when Sanchez doubled and scored standing up on a sharp base hit to right by Bird. The lead grew to 7-4 when Judge lined a 0-1 curveball into the left-field seats for a two-run homer with one out in the fourth.

Gary Sanchez heroically stays in wild-card game after taking foul ball directly to groin

By: Ted Berg | October 3, 2017 11:14 pm Follow @ogtedberg

NEW YORK — Oh, no:

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was shaken up in the top of the sixth inning of the AL wild-card game on Tuesday after a Brian Dozier foul tip appeared to catch him square in the groin.

Pitcher David Robertson reacted with the empathetic grimace of a man who has probably also taken a baseball to the groin at some point in his life:

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

We have no indication that Gary Sanchez is an insane person, so it’s likely he was wearing protection. But anyone who thinks said protection is adequate in the case of a direct hit is welcome to put on an athletic supporter and have friends throw baseballs at his groin. There’s no way this was pleasant:

Home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, in keeping with the catcher-umpire code, walked the ball out to Robertson to give Sanchez a moment. But after briefly crumbling to the ground in pain, the catcher remained in the game like a hero.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Hug your nearest catchers, for theirs, is a difficult lot.