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The New York Yankees received clutch hitting at the right time Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Going into the game, the Yankees had lost six out of their last seven and their standing as the best team in baseball had taken a serious hit since the All-Star break. Additionally, players like Josh Donaldson have been in a serious rut, which was not helping the situation.
However, Donaldson powered through the criticisms and delivered.
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In the bottom of the 10th inning, down three runs, Donaldson hit a walk-off grand slam to power the Yankees to an 8-7 victory. It was New York’s fourth win since the start of the month.
“The guys were pumped. I think just how the game progressed and how the back-and-forth battle happened there, and we were able to kind of come back there with our backs against the wall,” Donaldson said after the game. “I definitely think there was some release of some joy and some frustration over the past couple of weeks for sure.”
It was Donaldson’s first home run since Aug 8. Going into the game, he was 3-for-25. He became the third Yankee – joining Babe Ruth and Jason Giambi – to hit a game-ending grand slam with New York trailing by at least three runs in extra innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
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“There’s not too many better feelings in the world than hitting a walk-off home run,” he said.
The game was tied 4-4 after nine innings. Francisco Mejia doubled in the top of the 10th to score Roman Quinn, Isaac Paredes and Taylor Walls. Tampa Bay had to be feeling good.
Aaron Judge started the inning on second base. Gleyber Torres’ single moved him to third. After Anthony Rizzo walked, Donaldson came up and homered off Jalen Beeks.
Rizzo tied the game in the eighth with a solo home run.
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New York moved to 73-45 and the Rays fell to 62-54.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.