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Ginkel falters as Diamondbacks blow 3 leads in 6-4 loss to Yankees and tie Cubs for 2nd wild card

New York Yankees' Austin Wells celebrates with Gleyber Torres (25) after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

New York Yankees’ Austin Wells celebrates with Gleyber Torres (25) after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

BY LARRY FLEISHER contributing

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Ginkel blew the last of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ three leads in a 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday, dropping them into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for the National League’s second wild card.

Ginkel (9-1) loaded the bases in the eighth inning by allowing two singles and a walk. He walked in the tying run by issuing a free pass to Oswald Peraza and Gleyber Torres scored on a sacrifice fly to left from Estevan Florial to give the Yankees their first lead.

“I just didn’t have my best stuff,” Ginkel said. “I know I’ve had a good year and everything. I know it’s crunch time and we want to win and I’m doing the best I can. So that’s just it. I think it was one of those days.

Ginkel had not allowed a run in his past eight outings but allowed three base runners and threw 28 pitches in the eighth on Sunday.

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“He’s been our guy in the eighth inning the whole time,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He felt good, he felt strong. I know it was a lot of pitches yesterday but he was up, available and I wanted to stay with the process.”

Everson Pereira added an RBI single for a 6-4 lead.

Ginkel’s rough outing, which followed blown leads by Merrill Kelly in the fourth and Ryan Thompson in the seventh, resulted in Arizona’s second loss in eight games.

“Any loss is tough, period, and everything is amplified right now,” Lovullo said.

The Diamondbacks are seeking to secure one of the NL’s three wild cards to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Arizona won six of seven games with the Cubs earlier this month.

Rookie Corbin Carroll got two of his three hits in those innings and his bases-loaded single in the eighth off Ian Hamilton put Arizona ahead 4-3. An inning earlier, he stole his 51st base and scored on Gabriel Moreno’s single to snap a 2-2 tie.

“We put ourselves in a really good position a couple of times and then we just couldn’t execute on the mound and that’s what cost us,” Lovullo said.

Peraza hit a tying homer to open the seventh off Thompson. Thompson kept the game tied when center fielder Alek Thomas made a leaping catch to rob Aaron Judge of a homer.

Judge lofted a fly ball toward the Yankees bullpen but Thomas charged back and timed his leap, stuck his glove up over the fence and completed the catch near the 385-foot sign.

Hamilton (3-2) got the win and Clay Holmes got his 22nd save as the Yankees moved two games over .500 a day after being eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 2016. New York needs three wins in its final six games to avoid its first losing season since 1992

“Really good fun inning to see these guys execute like that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the eighth.

Thomas hit a two-run single in the first but Austin Wells hit a tying two-run shot in the fourth.

STARTERS

Kelly pitched five gritty innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He struck out five and walked two and the Yankees constantly fouled off pitches.

“Not great,” Kelly said. “In my mind I didn’t do my job today.”

New York’s Clarke Schmidt allowed two runs and three hits in four innings. He stayed in after Carroll’s single in the second deflected off his left elbow.

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New York went 42-39, its poorest home record since 2014.