Carlos Beltran completed an outstanding New York Yankees comeback as they scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
The 37-year-old smashed a three-run walk-off homer to send the Orioles packing after they had grafted their way to a 3-1 lead at the changeover in the ninth.
The superstar batter had been making a slow recovery after coming off the disabled list on June 5 because he was batting with a .181 average since his injury.
But last night’s game-winning homer made a statement – Beltran is back.
His comeback couldn’t have come at a sweeter moment for the Yankees. At 3-1 Beltran was faced with a 96 mph fastball from Orioles closer Zach Brittion. Beltran had the confidence and the know-how to carve the ball deep into the left field for his seventh homer of the season.
For the Yankees, it was a relief Beltran wanted to be in that spot.
The Yankees as a unit are starting to turn it on as they hunt down American League East division leaders Toronto Blue Jays. They sit just one and a half games behind the Blue Jays (42-33).
The Yankees improved to 39-33 and have won four games on the bounce, all against their division rivals.
In front of a packed Yankee Stadium, the home team took the lead in the first inning thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit a single, stole second base and scored on a Mark Teixeira RBI double.
But it was to be a frustrating night for the Yankees who wouldn't score again until the final innings.
Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda began the game strongly with no scores made in the first five innings, but the Orioles took the lead in the sixth with four hits being converted into two runs.
A Yankees error by Yangervis Solarte in the ninth gave the O’s an extra run off David Huff but it proved not to be enough to stop Beltran and company.
Brett Gardner singled before Teixeira walked and Brian McCann earned an RBI single to see Gardner home.
With Teixeira and McCann on base and two men out when Beltran stepped up, there was huge pressure on the eight-time All-Star. But he delivered to send the fans home happy.