The Yankees were two outs away from rock bottom when Clint Frazier injected the reeling club with a huge jolt of energy Saturday, by hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth that could be the first step to recovery from a serious swoon.
With the Yankees trailing by a run in the ninth inning, Didi Gregorius and Jacoby Ellsbury drew four-pitch walks around Chase Headley striking out.
Brewers right-hander Corey Knebel missed with the first pitch to Frazier and the second one landed in the seats beyond the left-field seats for a game-winning, 5-3 victory that was witnessed by a Yankee Stadium crowd of 40,224 and halted a three-game losing streak.
It was Frazier’s second homer in the big leagues and was his third hit of the game.
Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman worked the eighth and ninth, respectively with Chapman posting the victory.
The Yankees improved to 45-40 and pulled to within four games of the AL East-leading Red Sox, who played the Rays later Saturday afternoon.
In addition to not doing much with the bats (six hits), the Yankees watched Gregorius get caught off second on a ground ball back to the mound that started a killer double play in the second, when the Yankees were attempting to come back from a 3-0 hole.
Luis Severino gave up three runs in the first on Domingo Santana’s home run and nothing in the following six frames, but the Yankees were handcuffed by soft-tossing lefty Brent Suter until the seventh.
Severino, an All-Star for the first time, gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings and fell to 5-5. He hasn’t won since beating the Orioles, 16-3, on June 10. Since then he is 0-3 with two no decisions.
The Brewers’ second error of the game and the seventh in two games helped the Yankees score two runs in the seventh inning and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Headley, who had four hits in the previous 24 at-bats (.167), bounced a ground-rule double over the center-field fence and stopped at third on Ellsbury’s single to center.
Suter’s pickoff attempt at first got by Eric Thames, scored Headley with the Yankees’ first run and advanced Ellsbury to third. Frazier’s second triple in as many games scored Ellsbury, but Frazier was stranded when pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi grounded out and Ronald Torreyes popped out.