The New York Yankees completed their biggest comeback of the season despite numerous injuries to stay within striking distance of a wild-card spot.
Putting together a similar performance could prove much more challenging against Alex Cobb in Thursday night's series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.The Yankees (74-69) were without Brett Gardner and Martin Prado on Wednesday. Gardner missed a fourth straight contest due to an abdominal injury, while Prado was out for the fifth time in eight games due to a nagging hamstring issue. Carlos Beltran was also a late scratch due to a sore right elbow, which has bothered him for much of the season.New York's outlook didn't improve with a 4-0 deficit after only one-third of an inning by starter Chris Capuano. However, Brian McCann hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first to help the Yankees start chipping away toward an 8-5 victory."It shows the character of the guys in that room, that they're going to keep fighting," manager Joe Girardi said.Chris Young finished a triple shy of the cycle in his second start as a Yankee since being cut by the Mets on Aug. 9. McCann also singled and drove in two more runs after going 1 for 15 in his previous four games.New York could use similar contributions from both Thursday with Girardi telling MLB's official website that both Prado and Gardner will miss at least the next couple of games.Cobb (9-7, 2.83 ERA) has developed a habit of shutting down the Yankees, going 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last six matchups. He was the winner in a 5-0 victory in his only meeting this year on Aug. 15, striking out eight over 7 1/3 innings.McCann and Young are a combined 1 for 6 against him.The right-hander has also been lights out against all comers of late, going 4-1 over his last nine outings with a 1.08 ERA that leads baseball since July 23. He is without a victory in three straight starts, though he threw seven innings in a 3-0 win over Baltimore on Friday.Cobb has received two runs of support or fewer in six of his last seven starts, including a total of three in the last four.New York's Michael Pineda (3-4, 1.80) also seeks more run support after losing two straight starts despite limiting opponents to a combined two earned runs over 13 innings. He was backed by no offense both times, most recently holding Kansas City to an unearned run and three hits over seven innings in a 1-0 defeat Friday.Pineda hasn't given up more than two runs in any of his nine outings. He was 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts versus Tampa Bay while with Seattle in 2011.The Rays (70-76) had won five straight in the Bronx before Wednesday's loss. Ben Zobrist recorded his 1,000th hit with the franchise, joining Carl Crawford as the only other player to reach that plateau.James Loney was 2 for 3, improving to 9 for 13 over his last three contests. He's hit .446 with 13 RBIs in his last 16 against the Yankees.
Chris Young: 1st walk-off HR by Yankees player when down by 2 runs or more since Jason Giambi's grand slam against the Twins, May 17, 2002 (grand slam, down by 3)
It's the first such home run in a September game for the Yankees since Curt Blefary hit one against the Red Sox on September 15, 1970 (3-run HR, down by 2)
Alex Cobb has dominated the Bombers in his career. His 1.69 ERA in his career against New York is his best vs any team he's faced more than once.
Jake McGee (TB): 1st HR allowed this season
Entering Thursday, he had thrown 76 innings since allowing his last home run (Sept. 4, 2013), the second-longest active streak in the majors (Kelvin Herrera 87 1/3).