The Kiner-Falefa Show, Part 1: NY 5 Minnesota 4 in 12 innings, Game 1

Oswaldo Cabrera singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th — scoring Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who was at the heart of the Yankee small-ball attack that enabled them to eek out the HUGE win in the 1st game of a double-header against Minnesota on a Wednesday afternoon at the Stadium.

With NY down 4-3 in the 12th, Falefa got a CLUTCH single up the middle to tie the game, then stole 2nd base, went to 3rd on a single by Jose Trevino — and then, as Trevino got hung up between 1st and 2nd, Falefa faked home, drawing the throw, enabling Tevino to dive into 2nd safe.

Earlier, the Yanks came back from a 3-0 deficit on a solo homer by Aaron Judge — his 55th — and a 2-run homer by Gleyber Torres.

1. German a ‘Quality Start’

Domingo German allowed a 2-run homer to rookie Jose Miranda in the top of the 1st and just like that NY was down 2-0.

German pitched a shutout 2nd and 3rd, but in the 4th, he allowed 3 straight singles after 2 were out to make it 3-0 Minnesota. It wasn’t looking good.

But German settled down again to pitch shutout ball the rest of the way and ended up throwing a ‘quality start’ — 6 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs.

2. Judge’s 55th Homer Makes It 3-1

The Twins started rookie Louie Varland — and he had a contingent of about 40 family and friends rooting him on from a section in the upper deck. They were quite noticeable because the Stadium was half empty due to the double header on a Wednesday workday afternoon (one ticket enabled one to watch baseball all day, so most showed up for the night game).

Varland struck Aaron Judge out the first time he faced him in the bottom of the 1st inning, but in the 4th, Judge struck back with his 55th home run. Minnesota 3 NY 1.

3. Gleyber Ties It with 2-Run Bomb

Varland pitched a terrific game — and was relieved in the bottom of the 6th after Oswald Peraza singled (his 2nd of 3 hits on the day) and Cabrera struck out.

The Twins brought in Griffin Jax, and Gleyber Torres JACKED a BOMB to left for a tie game.

4. Cabrera Throws Out Runner at Plate in 10th

In the 10th, with Clay Holmes pitching, Luis Arraez lined a single to right, and Minnesota’s inherited runner Gilberto Celestino blew past the stop sign at 3rd trying to score on Oswaldo Cabrera — playing right — but Cabrera threw him out by a mile.

5. Yanks Blow Chance to Win in 11th

The Yankees loaded the bases on the bottom of the 11th — Aaron Judge was intentionally walked with the inherited runner on 2nd, and then Gleyber Torres worked a walk bringing Ron Guzman to the plate.

Guzman — a former Texas Ranger — has spent the year with the Yanks in AAA Scranton, where he batted 12-39-.260 (.357 OBP).

In this his first game in the majors this year, however, he struck out his first 4 times up, and in the 11th with bases loaded and nobody out, worked the count 3-2 — before hitting a tapper that ended up in a home-to-1st double play. Guzman also seemed to have trouble running fast to 1st base, and even ducked in advance to allow the throw home unimpeded. Yankee Twitter had an adverse reaction to this.

6. Weissert Saves Day in Top of 12th

Ron Marinaccio pitched a shutout 11th but in the 12th walked Jake Cave and allowed a 1-out single to Celestino to score the inherited runner and give Minny the 4-3 lead. Marinaccio then walked the bases loaded and was yanked for Greg Weissert.

Weissert got a HUGE pop out of Carlos Correa, then a fly out of Miranda to end the inning. Very important that he did not allow Minnesota to score another run.

7. The Falefa Show Wins It

And then to the bottom of the 12th and the Isiah Kiner-Falefa show — first tying the game with the single.

Then Kiner-Falefa stealing 2nd, a smart baserunning play to avoid Trevino from being tagged out, and scoring on the walk-off single by Oswaldo Cabrera for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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