Yankees shake off four straight blown leads in wild 11-inning win over Royals

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Yankees saved the best for last.

Finally.

After blowing leads in four straight innings — including twice when it would have sealed a victory — the Yankees got the last three outs from Wandy Peralta in a crazy, 8-6, 11-inning win over the Royals on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

With extra runner Joey Gallo on second to start the 11th, DJ LeMahieu belted a double to the gap in right-center to give the Yankees the lead for good.

After Tyler Wade and Kyle Higashioka walked with two out, Brett Gardner hit a hard grounder right at shortstop Nickey Lopez, but the ball took a nasty hop and appeared to hit Lopez in the face. It was ruled a hit. LeMahieu scored and Wade, who kept running, scored on the errant throw to the plate.

The extra runs were welcome for the Yankees, who became the first team in the modern era to give up leads in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings of the same game, according to StatsbyStats.

They seemed on the verge of doing it again in the 11th, as Peralta got the first two outs before an RBI single from Edward Olivares and a single through the shift by Hunter Dozier.

But Peralta got Carlos Santana on a chopper to third, ending the Yankees’ marathon win at 4 hours and 52 minutes.

Prior to that, after six scoreless inning, the Yankees took the lead — and gave it right back each time.

They were an out away from a victory in the bottom of the ninth before Zack Britton — filling in at closer for Aroldis Chapman, out with left elbow inflammation — walked Whit Merrifield. Merrifield stole second and scored on a Lopez single to left.

In the 10th, with extra runner Andrew Velazquez on second, Wade singled to center to put runners on the corners for Higashioka, whose fly ball to the track in center scored Andrew Velazquez, called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.

Wade also moved to second on the fly ball and came around to score on Gardner’s single up the middle, giving the Yanks a two-run cushion.

Clay Holmes came on in the bottom of the inning and got a grounder from Carlos Santana that sent Dozier to third and walked Andrew Benintendi. A wild pitch moved Benintendi to second. Jarrod Dyson’s sacrifice fly to left made it a one-run game and Hanser Alberto singled to drive in Benintendi to tie the game again.

Luke Voit, in his second game back after returning from left knee inflammation, gave the Yankees a one-run lead with a solo shot to right with two outs in the top of the ninth.

At the beginning of the weekend, Voit’s spot on the roster seemed questionable, but the Yankees put Anthony Rizzo on the COVID IL on Sunday, leading to Voit coming back.

It was a rare highlight in what has been a trying season for Voit, who was sidelined by knee surgery during spring training and the early part of the regular season, as well as a strained oblique.

But Voit’s time as hero was short-lived, as Britton couldn’t protect the lead.

“We are ‘blinders on,’ ’’ Aaron Boone said of the team’s attitude before the game, despite the multitude of injuries. “We’re full steam ahead. We’ve played good baseball the last month mixed in with some tough losses. … We know what’s at stake and know how important these games are and the rest of the season is.”

The Yankees wasted a one-out triple from LeMahieu in the second, when Voit followed with a strikeout and Velazquez grounded out. Right-hander Carlos Hernandez retired 11 straight Yankees after LeMahieu’s triple.

The Yankees also hadn’t scored since the sixth inning of their win on Saturday, a span of 17 innings that included Sunday’s shutout loss to the Mariners.

They finally broke through in the seventh when Aaron Judge ripped a one-out double to left and Gallo’s grounder up the middle bounced off second base, allowing him to reach on a single. With runners on the corners, LeMahieu hit a dribbler in front of the plate. Hernandez fielded the ball and shoveled it home, where Cam Gallagher tagged a sliding Judge at the plate — after Judge got a bad jump from third.

The Yankees challenged the out call, but it was upheld and the game stayed tied. But Voit’s single to left scored Gallo to give the Yankees the lead.

Jameson Taillon tossed six scoreless innings before a leadoff single from Emmanuel Rivera ended his night in the seventh.

With Ryan O’Hearn at the plate, Jonathan Loaisiga made an errant pickoff throw to first that sent pinch-runner Dyson to second and then balked Dyson to third, which led to Boone’s ejection for arguing the call.

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