Josh Harrison's day at Yankee Stadium: Go-ahead homer, huge diving catch

David Brown
Big League Stew

The Pittsburgh Pirates came away with a doubleheader split at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, but it might have felt like a sweep the way Josh Harrison finished off the Bronx Bombers.

Harrison hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of Game 2, and probably saved a run if not more thanks to an all-out diving catch in the bottom of the eighth. Mark Melancon got three outs in the ninth to save a 4-3 victory for starter Gerrit Cole and close out Pittsburgh's first win at Yankee Stadium (new and old) in nine attempts since Game 5 of the 1960 World Series.

Harrison's homer, his second, was a line drive to left against Alfredo Aceves that just missed the reach of outfielder Zoilo Almonte. It broke a 3-3 tie and put the outcome in the hands of Pittsburgh's capable relief corps.

Still, the Yankees started to brew trouble against Tony Watson in the eighth. Derek Jeter led off with a single and Yangervis Solarte hit a rope into the left-field corner that Harrison dived for at the last moment and caught. After fulling extending, he came to his feet on the edge of the warning track. If he misses the ball, with the potential bounces and rolls being unpredictable, Jeter at least gets to third base, if not home.

Via the Associated Press, Harrison swears he knew he had it all along:

''Home runs are great, but any time you can make a play in the field and help out the pitcher it feels good,'' Harrison said. ''I knew once I left my feet it was in there.''

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was impressed with Pittsburgh's utility man.

''Harrison was a big reason they won the second game today. His defense, his offense really hurt us today. Sol put a great at-bat as well and hit a rocket,'' Girardi said. ''You don't see guys lay out 320 feet away very often, but he did.''

The Yankees won the first game 4-3. The Pirates, a playoff team a season ago, are 18-25.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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