But the ball hit the 3rd base bag and ricocheted away from Oswald Peraza who was waiting behind the bag to field it — and a run scampered in from 2nd base for a 3-2 Pirate lead.
In the 9th, Austin Wells just missed a homer with a long double to the warning track in deep left centerfield, and then was stranded on 2nd as Pirate ace reliever David Bednar struck out the last 2 Yankees.
Earlier, old friend Miguel Andujar got the Pirates their 2nd run with a solo homer in the 4th off the foul pole in opposite field right; Anthony Volpe tied the score 2-2 with a solo homer in the top of the 7th.
“Great road trip, great series,” said Team Captain Aaron Judge afterwards. “Just a lot of fight; got down early, battled back. Even going back to Boston; we got down early, kind of stalled out, but just kept putting up good at bats all game. Even today — battled all the way to the end there against their closer, get a guy in scoring position, but can’t get it done. Got to build off that, use this off day, and get ’em at home.”
The loss dropped the Yankees to 76-74, 7 games behind Toronto and now 6.5 games back of the final Wild Card held by Texas. Pittsburgh improves to 70-80.
1. Rodon Great
The good news of course was the way Carlos Rodon pitched — which was: really, really well.
“I think he kind of picked up where he left off in Fenway,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Great stuff; executed a lot. Even the runs he gave up — Miggy got to a pitch over his head and just kind of bounced it off the foul pole, and then unfortunate bounce off the bag. But man I thought he was really good.”
Boone continued: “When you’re watching that — that’s where I’ve seen him at times — I remember an outing he had against us in Yankee Stadium when he was with the White Sox where he was — man you had that feeling over there that it was overwhelming — just overwhelming you with stuff.”
“I thought he did a great job. His fastball was great, but also mixing in some changeups: the curveball and the slider to chase so he doesn’t box himself in. Stuff wise — in his lanes, driving it where he wants to. I feel like he’s getting to be in a really good spot.”
Rodon’s final line: 6.2 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 10 K’s, and 0 walks. And he pitched better than that.
2. Miggy Hurts Yanks with HR
Rodon allowed a run in the 3rd — a leadoff double by Jared Triolo, and 2-out single by shortstop Liover Peguero, and then allowed the solo homer to Miguel Andujar in the 4th, which bounced off the right-field foul pole to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
Andujar — like Estavan Florial of the Yanks — was DFA’d earlier in the season, then re-signed by the Pirates and had a fine season in AAA — slashing 16-86-.338 (.404 OBP). Andujar was brought back up to the majors in September and been doing well — he is now slashing 4-13-.250 (.294) with the big club, playing left field.
3. Pirate Pen No Hits Yanks Thru 5
Selby and Jackson no hit the Yanks through 5 innings.
4. LeMahieu Gets Yanks on Board in 6th
The Yanks just missed plating another run: Aaron Judge grounded out to move LeMahieu to 3rd with 1 out, but Gleyber Torres hit a short fly to right and Giancarlo Stanton smoked a ball but right at the 3rd baseman for the final out.
5. Volpe Atones for Error; Ties Game with HR in 7th
In the bottom of the 6th, Anthony Volpe booted the final out of the inning — a grounder to short — that put 1st and 2nd, 2 outs — but Rodon picked him up by striking out Jack Suwinski to end the threat.
Austin Wells led off the 7th against Jackson with a LONG fly ball out to the wall in deep centerfield — a precursor of his double in the 9th. With 1 out, Anthony Volpe made up for his error — ripping a 2-2 slider 417 feet over the centerfield wall for a solo homer and 2-2 tie.
6. Rodon Done In by Bounce
And then came the bottom of the 7th — another double by Jared Triolo — this one with 1 out, and then after a strikeout, the 2-out grounder to 3rd that bounced off the bag for a run. Pittsburgh 3 NY 2.
7. Wells Stranded in the 9th
And then to the 9th — Bednar pitching and throwing 97-MPH heat. He struck out Stanton on 3 swings and misses, but then Austin Wells worked the count to 2-2 and got to him with the double near the wall in deep left center.
With the tying run on 2nd, Anthony Volpe worked the count to 3-2 before Bednar struck him out swinging on 98 MPH heat, and then went 1-2 on Oswald Peraza before striking him out swinging on a 79-MPH curveball for the old ballgame.