ANAHEIM, Calif. — After the Yankees’ vaunted closer blew a 12th-inning lead, but before New York manufactured another run while striking out four times in the 14th, an Angels outfielder playing second base for the first time in his pro career dived to stop a grounder and made a fine throw to get the out at first.
Out of every improbability in this epic opener of the Yankees’ West Coast trip, the identity of their offensive hero was right up there with the weirdest.
Gio Urshela singled home Gleyber Torres in the 14th with his second extra-inning RBI of the night, and the Yankees persevered for their fourth consecutive win, 4-3 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
“We’re finding a way right now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s not easy for us by any means, but the guys have been finding a way.”
The injury-plagued Yankees have won six of seven, and they teamed up with the struggling Angels to pack a week’s worth of drama into this one. After playing 3 ½ hours in the Bronx on Sunday, the Yankees flew across the country and played another 4 ½ hours in Anaheim — but the twists and swings of this win left them energized in their clubhouse after Urshela came through twice late.
“It’s been a long 24 hours for us,” said starter J.A. Happ, whose seven outstanding innings were merely a prelude. “But our guys did a great job today, and it’s been fun to watch.”
The Yankees finished it off despite striking out four times in the 14th: Torres reached base on catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s comical throwing error after whiffing.
Torres advanced on a wild pitch by Luke Bard (0-1) and stole third before he was driven home by Urshela. The journeyman infielder produced his first multi-RBI game since last May, epitomizing the Yankees’ can-do spirit while Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sánchez and others are out with injuries.
“It just feels good to have an opportunity to help the team,” Urshela said through a translator.
He helped the Yankees two innings earlier as well: After seven consecutive hitless innings for New York, Clint Frazier doubled and scored on Urshela’s flyout in the 12th.
“I wanted to go home,” Frazier said. “That’s where I found the extra gear.”
Brian Goodwin delivered a tying RBI single with two outs in the 12th for the Angels, who have lost seven of eight despite an outstanding game from their pitching staff.
Even that gutsy rally against closer Aroldis Chapman came at a cost: Zack Cozart, who was on first after getting hit by a pitch to extend the rally, injured his face or neck on the bag while diving back to second base after Goodwin’s hit.
With no more position players on the bench, their Angels were forced to make a series of substitutions that ended with outfielder Peter Bourjos playing second base — and playing it well — for the first time in his 1,347-game pro career in the majors and minors.
“(Bench coach) Josh Paul was just trying to find out who had played other positions,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “(Bourjos) had played the infield at some point.”
Bourjos then promptly made a diving stop on Brett Gardner’s grounder and threw him out at first in the 13th.
“He made a nice play,” Ausmus said. “I thought that might be the turning point in the game, but unfortunately it wasn’t.”
Jonathan Holder (1-0) pitched the final two innings for the Yankees, striking out pitcher Trevor Cahill with a runner on first to end it. Cahill was batting because Cozart’s untimely injury also forced the Angels to lose their designated hitter spot in the lineup.
“It’s a (tough) loss, but we’re good in here,” Angels starter Matt Harvey said. “Everybody is staying positive and focused on our task. We’ll be fine.”
DIAMONDBACKS 12, PIRATES 4
PITTSBURGH — Pirates reliever Nick Burdi left in tears with a right arm injury, a chilling low point for Pittsburgh in a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Burdi, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, had already given up five runs in a third of an inning when he fired a 96 mph fastball to Jarrod Dyson. The 26-year-old Burdi shrugged his right arm after releasing the pitch then crumpled to the ground. Surrounded by teammates, a trainer and manager Clint Hurdle, Burdi sobbed on the mound before standing and walking off holding his arm. The team said he was dealing with pain in his biceps and right elbow.
The scene came after the Diamondbacks had already put the finishing touches on a massive rally that turned a three-run deficit into their major league leading ninth comeback win of the season.
David Peralta hit a bases-clearing triple off Kyle Crick (0-1) in the seventh and Christian Walker smacked a two-run homer off Burdi two batters later. Eduardo Escobar hit his third home run of the season and finished with three hits and three RBIs.
Arizona starter Zack Godley only lasted four-plus innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, with four walks and two strikeouts. Matt Andriese (3-1) picked up the win in relief.
RAYS 6, ROYALS 3
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mike Zunino returned from the paternity list and hit his first home run for Tampa Bay, a two-run shot that helped stop a season-high four-game skid with a win over Kansas City.
Yandy Diaz, Brandon Lowe and Daniel Robertson also drove in runs for the AL East leaders, who scored three times in the seventh to come from behind against Brad Keller (2-2). It’s the ninth time this season the Royals have lost after holding a lead in the sixth inning or beyond.
Pitching while appealing a five-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing fracas with the Chicago White Sox last week, Keller allowed five runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Alex Gordon, Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler hit solo homers for the Royals, who have lost four straight.
Wilmer Font (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced to get the win. Emilio Pagan pitched the ninth for his first career save.
METS 5, PHILLIES 1
NEW YORK — Steven Matz atoned for a dismal start last week in Philadelphia by pitching six fine innings, and Jeff McNeil homered as New York dealt the Phillies their fourth loss in five games.
Slugger Bryce Harper struck out twice and was ejected Mark Carlson four batters after being called out on strikes.
Matz (2-1) allowed one run and three hits.
The Phillies Jake Arrieta (3-2) got chased in the seventh.
Pete Alonso hit an RBI double in a two-run third and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh. McNeil hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Rhys Hoskins homered for the Phillies.
WHITE SOX 12, ORIOLES 2
BALTIMORE — José Abreu homered and drove in five runs, James McCann had a homer and four RBIs and Chicago beat bumbling Baltimore.
McCann’s three-run drive off David Hess (1-4) highlighted a four-run fifth inning, and Abreu’s shot with a man on sparked a four-run seventh against Tanner Scott.
Abreu also had an RBI single in the fifth and singled in two runs during a four-run eighth.
The rebuilding Orioles have lost four straight, fell to 1-10 at home and drew just 8,555 — their fifth time under 10,000 at Camden Yards this season.
Catcher Jesús Sucre pitched the ninth for Baltimore. The Orioles’ runs came on an RBI double by Trey Mancini in the fifth and solo homer by Pedro Severino in the ninth.
CARDINALS 13, BREWERS 5
ST. LOUIS — Dexter Fowler had a four-hit game with his first home run this season and four RBIs to lead St. Louis over Milwaukee.
Paul Goldschmidt hit his ninth home run and had three hits and three RBIs for the Cardinals. St. Louis outhit Milwaukee 18-5, set a season high for runs and won its third straight.
Fowler had the fifth four-hit game of his career, his first since June 9, 2013, against San Diego.
Ryan Braun, Hernán Pérez, Yasmani Grandal and Travis Shaw homered for Milwaukee, which has lost five of six.
Jack Flaherty (2-1) allowed four runs and three hits — all homers — in six innings. He struck out 10.
Adrian Houser (0-1) lost in his season debut and first big league start, giving up five runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.
ROCKIES 7, NATIONALS 5
DENVER — Nolan Arenado hit a tiebreaking homer for his 1,000th career hit and Colorado rallied to beat Washington.
Arenado also doubled twice and drove in two to help the Rockies win for the seventh time in eight games. He is the ninth Rockies player to reach 1,000 hits, getting there with a solo shot off Wander Suero (1-2) in the seventh to make it 6-5.
Mark Reynolds and pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia also homered for Colorado, and Trevor Story singled twice and drove in a run to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Brian Dozier had a three-run home run for the Nationals, who could not hold two- and three-run leads.
Wade Davis got three outs for his second save. Seunghwan Oh (1-0) worked a hitless seventh.
TWINS 9, ASTROS 5
HOUSTON — Jorge Polanco had four hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in four runs to lead Minnesota over Houston for its fourth straight win.
Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz had RBI singles around Polanco’s two-run single in a four-run sixth as the Twins built a 7-1 lead. Polanco homered in the eighth.
C.J. Cron put Minnesota ahead with a two-run double in the first, and Jason Castro led off the second with a home run.
Jake Odorizzi (2-2) won his second straight, allowing two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Houston has lost four of five since a 10-game winning streak. Brad Peacock (2-1) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.
Carlos Correa had a three-run homer in the seventh for the Astros.
ATHLETICS 6, RANGERS 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Piscotty homered and drove in three to back Chris Bassitt’s winning season debut, and Oakland ended a three-game skid with a win over Texas.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus left in the seventh inning as a precaution after being hit by a pitch in the first and bruising his right hand.
Bassitt (1-0) struck out seven and walked four over five innings, allowing two hits. He has won his last three decisions dating to last season.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 907th career appearance, moving past Cy Young for 24th on baseball’s career list.
The Rangers couldn’t capitalize on their chances for Mike Minor (2-2), who gave up four runs and four hits, struck out four and walked three in six innings.