Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Aroldis Chapman and the host Minnesota Twins stormed back for a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees to avert a three-game sweep on Thursday night.
Minnesota posted its third walk-off win of the season by rallying against Chapman (4-1), who blew his second save in 14 chances and threw just nine pitches in the stunning comeback.
Jorge Polanco opened the ninth inning with a single to left field, and Josh Donaldson hit a 96 mph fastball into the back of the second deck over the left-field fence to tie the game at 5.
Following a single by pinch hitter Willians Astudillo, Cruz ended it when he slugged a first-pitch fastball 457 feet over the center-field fence. Cruz dropped his bat and watched the ball sail over the wall before completing his home run trot. He was met at the plate with a wild celebration by his teammates.
Cruz’s dramatic blast capped a four-RBI night for the veteran designated hitter. He lifted a sacrifice fly in the first inning and an RBI double in the seventh off Wandy Peralta.