The crowd wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Joey Gallo! Joey Gallo!” it chanted over and over, and then over and over some more until it wore down the hero of the night. Gallo ducked his head out from under the Yankees’ dugout, climbed a step and tipped his cap.
In the eyes of Yankees fans, he had earned his pinstripes.
Gallo’s three-run blast in the seventh inning erased a one-run deficit and powered a 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
It came off reliever Paul Sewald with the Yankees down, 3-2, and it was after back-to-back two-out singles from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Gallo ripped a 1-0 slider and pumped his fist hard as he rounded first base.
Gallo, who went 3-for-4, had collected just two hits in his first 27 plate appearances with the Yankees, who acquired him from the Rangers just before Friday’s trade deadline. He also doubled twice.
Closer Aroldis Chapman put runners on the corners with two outs in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate. But Mitch Hanigar hit a hanging slider to the left-field warning track to end the game.
The heroics erased a let down from reliever Chad Green, who gave up a cheapie solo shot to ex-Mets top prospect Jarred Kelenic to start the seventh that put Seattle ahead, 3-2. The blast came on a 1-1 curveball and it traveled 343 feet — barely over the wall in right. It wouldn’t have been a home run at any other stadium than the one in the Bronx.
The win pushed the Yankees to three games ahead of the Mariners in the race for the American League Wild Card. The Yankees stayed at two games behind Oakland, which controls the No. 2 spot. They’re 5 1/2 games back for the first-place Rays in the AL East. They’re 10 games over .500 (59-49) for the first time this year.
With catcher Gary Sanchez landing on the COVID-19 injured list earlier in the day, Kyle Higashioka, his backup, singled. Nestor Cortes started and gave up two runs over five innings. Cortes strike out two, walked three and gave up five hits. Zack Britton worked a scoreless eighth and got a big double play to end it.
Mariners starting pitcher Tyler Anderson also gave up two runs over five innings.
The teams traded runs early.
The Yankees jumped ahead, 1-0, in the second inning. Giancarlo Stanton singled to lead off the frame and then Joey Gallo ripped a double into the right-field corner to move Stanton to third. He’d score from there on Gleyber Torres’s sacrifice fly in the next at-bat. But Mitch Haniger’s sacrifice fly in the next inning would tie it.
In the top of the third, Kyle Seager would lift a solo home run over the right field wall, and Kyle Higashioka would answer in the inning’s bottom half on Kyle Higashioka’s nubber. Higashioka hit it off the end of the bat with one out and the pitcher grabbed it but had no shot at Gallo, who scored from third after he led off the inning with a double and moved over on a single.
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