DETROIT (AP) — Anthony Volpe, one of the few bright spots in the worst Yankees season in three decades, became the 15th rookie with a 20-homer, 20-stolen base season as New York lost to the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Thursday in the finale of a four-game series,
With New York trailing 3-0 in the ninth, Volpe hit a three-run, opposite-field homer to right off Alex Lange to become the Yankees' first 20-20 rookie. Volpe has 21 steals in 26 tries.
“I guess it’s pretty crazy,” Volpe said. “I never really had goals or anything like that going into the season numbers-wise.”
Volpe is the second 20-20 rookie this year after Arizona’s Corbin Carroll, who has 23 homers and 41 steals.
“It’s been fun watching him play the game. He’s gotten a lot of big hits for us today included,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Volpe. “With all that’s come with him and the expectations, he just managed everything so well, and I’m excited to see what he continues to do throughout his career ... It’s pretty eye-opening for a kid from Jersey that’s 22 years old and wins the job in spring.”
Shortstop Gleyber Torres made a game-ending throwing error. The Yankees were trying for their first four-game winning streak since May 27-30. Instead they lost on a walk-off for the ninth time.
“We could have had a great series, so this is a tough one to lose,” Boone said. “We just didn't mount much on the day. We had a great ninth inning, but we couldn't finish it.”
Beau Brieske (1-2) retired the Yankees in order in the 10th. With Kerry Carpenter the automatic runner on second, Miguel Cabrera grounded out off Jonathan Loáisiga (0-1) starting the bottom half and Parker Meadows was intentionally walked.
Zack Short hit a comebacker and Loáisiga threw to Torres for a forceout, but the the shortstop's throw sailed past first baseman DJ LeMahieu.
Detroit ended a five-game losing streak.
“Kudos to Parker for doing exactly what you are taught to do,” Short said. “Go hard and keep ahold of the bag. He plays hard, especially for someone who has only been at this level for a year or two.”
Boone challenged the play.
"My first thought was maybe it was a takeout slide or something,” Boone said. “The throw was a little low, and he obviously messed up the exchange and didn't get off a good throw.”
New York only two hits through eight innings and Oswaldo Cabrera reached on a bunt single starting the ninth. Kyle Higashioka struck out, LaMahieu looped a single and Torres hit what could hav been a game-ending, double-play grounder to shortstop, but Short didn't field the ball cleanly and only got the out at second. Volpe homered on an 0-1 sinker.
Detroit had had lost five straight by a combined 40-11 and was outscored 14-5 in the first three games against New York.
“This has been a tough little stretch,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “The way the Yankees have been hitting the ball, when we didn't turn the double play and gave them an extra batter, especially with the things (Volpe) has done this year, you just hold your breath.”
Tigers starter Matt Manning o allowed two hits and two walks in six innings to improve to 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA in his past four starts.
“I was being very cautious with him after he tweaked his back last time — he wasn't going past six,” Hinch said. “He fought me to stay in, which tells you he was healthy.”
Detroit took a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Short homered, Riley Greene hit an RBI single and Boone made a mound trip. Boone went to the mound and Kenyon Middleton thought he was relieving, but the manager waved for him to remain in the bullpen, and Carpenter chased Schmidt with a run-scoring single.
OTHER 20/20 ROOKIES IN SAME SEASON
The only other seasons with two 20-20 rookies were 1987 with Boston’s Ellis Burks and the Angels’ Devon White, and last year Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez and Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr.
Yankees outfielder Harrison Bader was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati. New York intends to promote prospects OF Jasson Domínguez and C Austin Wells when rosters expand on Friday. Bader can become a free agent after the World Series.
“He did some special things, especially during the postseason, as a kid who grew up here,” Boone said of Bader. “You never close the book on someone like that.”
“Obviously coming over here and really doing some special things, especially in the postseason, as a guy that grew up here and grew up as a fan of this team, you never close the book on what may happen this winter moving forward.”
SEE YOU SOON
After not playing until late August, the Tigers and Yankees play at Yankee Stadium from Sept. 5-7.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodón (1-4, 5.97) starts Friday's series opener at Houston. RHP Justin Verlander (10-6, 3.06) will be on the mound for the Astros.
Tigers: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-7, 3.21) starts Friday at the Chicago White Sox, opposed by RHP Touki Toussaint (2-6, 4.85).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Dave Hogg, The Associated Press