Before Saturday’s game against the Marlins, with the Yankees looking to avoid a fourth straight loss, manager Aaron Boone said that despite their recent play, his team could “turn on a dime.”
That finally happened in the bottom of the fifth inning of their 11-4 comeback victory over a Miami team that clinched its first postseason berth in 17 years on Friday night.
And it came out of nowhere, as Tyler Wade got the Yankees going with a two-run homer when they were down by three runs.
It was the Yankees’ first homer in five games, snapping their longest streak without a home run since 2014.
Giancarlo Stanton, mired in a horrific slump, tied the game with a booming RBI double later in the inning. Aaron Hicks put them ahead with a two-run opposite-field shot from the right side of the plate off former Yankee Stephen Tarpley in the sixth, sparking a seven-run inning.
After Wade laid down the Yankees’ first sacrifice bunt of the season, they tacked on to their lead with a two-run double by DJ LeMahieu to make it 7-3. It was one of four hits on the day for LeMahieu, who sewed up the AL batting title by raising his average to .359. The White Sox’s Tim Anderson entered Saturday hitting .337.
Luke Voit finished the sudden onslaught with a three-run blast, his 22nd, and is in line to lead the majors in homers.
It was an unlikely outcome after rookie Deivi Garcia allowed three runs in the top of the first and the Yankees, who had lost five of their last six, were shut out for the first four innings.
“We’re not in an ideal situation right now, no question,’’ Boone said before the game. “We’ve been inconsistent. We haven’t played our best baseball yet. I’m hopeful that’s in front of us and I know with this group, that can turn on a dime.’’
But Boone was confident in his team even before the win.
“I know [the] history of this game is littered with all kinds of championship clubs going into the postseason playing at different levels,’’ Boone said. “The great thing about our situation is we control the narrative. We are in control of what we do. We don’t need anyone’s help. … If we go out and play well and put our best foot forward, we can be a champion. There’s some comfort in that, especially since we’ve been inconsistent and haven’t played to our capability yet.”
Garcia played an important role in the comeback.
The 21-year-old was coming off a rough outing in Boston last Sunday, when he allowed six runs in three innings.
This time, he struggled in the third inning, when he gave up three runs — though he was hurt by a pair of bloop run-scoring singles.
But Garcia held the Marlins in check other than that inning and gave the Yankees’ lineup time to wake up.
He left a runner on first with two outs in the seventh and Adam Ottavino allowed the inherited run to score, but it was a solid bounce-back outing from the right-hander after he gave up six runs in three innings in that previous start against the Red Sox.
Garcia walked one and struck out seven in the 103-pitch outing Saturday.