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Carlos Correa, controversial call doom Yankees in Twins loss

Aaron Boone thought the Yankees should have been out of the eighth inning before Carlos Correa’s spot in the order came up.

Instead, a controversial call at first base extended the frame and gave the former Astros star the chance to play villain.

Correa delivered, drilling a two-run home run off reliever Greg Weissert to lift the Twins to a 4-3 win over the Yankees on Thursday night in The Bronx.

After rallying for one run but leaving the tying run 90 feet away in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees mounted another rally in the ninth. With one out, Oswald Peraza blooped a single into center field before Aaron Hicks roped a double to the right-field corner off right-hander Michael Fulmer.

The Twins then intentionally walked Aaron Judge to load the bases for Gleyber Torres, who struck out.

That left the game up to cleanup hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who grounded out to end it.

“We still had our chances,” said Boone, who was still visibly ticked about the eighth-inning call. “Just came up a little bit short.”

Carlos Correa celebrates after giving the Twins the lead in the eighth inning.
Carlos Correa celebrates after giving the Twins the lead in the eighth inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Greg Weissert reacts after giving up a home run to Carlos Correa.
Greg Weissert reacts after giving up a home run to Carlos Correa.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The Yankees (83-55) missed out on a chance for the four-game sweep in a rare loss to the Twins. It cut their AL East lead to 4 ½ games over the idle Rays before another big three-game showdown between the two teams this weekend.

The play that set up Correa’s blast came with one out in the top of the eighth inning. Jake Cave hit a ground ball to the left of first base, which Marwin Gonzalez fielded and tossed to Wandy Peralta covering first, where Cave was called safe.

The Yankees challenged the call, with replays showing that Peralta touched the bag first but had bobbled the throw from Gonzalez. It was not clear whether Peralta had the ball secured in his glove – or trapped against his chest – by the time he stepped on first base, which led to the call on the field standing.

Aaron Boone argues with the umpire in the eighth inning.
Aaron Boone argues with the umpire in the eighth inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I think he’s out,” Boone said. “We gotta live with the ‘[call] stands. ‘ That’s just how the system goes. ”

One out later, Correa crushed a slider from Weissert for the 4-2 lead.

The Yankees then put together a rally in the bottom of the inning, which Judge led off with a double and eventually came home to score from third on a wild pitch that got past Gary Sanchez to make it 4-3.

Nestor Cortes walks back to the dugout after being pulled in the fifth inning.
Nestor Cortes walks back to the dugout after being pulled in the fifth inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Clarke Schmidt pitches on Thursday during the Yankees' loss to the Twins.
Clarke Schmidt pitches on Thursday during the Yankees’ loss to the Twins.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Then, with runners on the corners and two outs, Boone pinch hit Giancarlo Stanton, appearing for the first time since Monday when he fouled a ball off his left foot. Stanton worked a nine-pitch at-bat but ultimately chased ball four and struck out to end the threat.

Making his first start after a brief stint on the injured list for a left groin strain, Nestor Cortes picked up where he left off. The lefty retired the first 12 batters he faced before Gio Urshela lined a single to lead off the fifth inning.

After Urshela took second on wild pitch, he scored on Sanchez’s double as the pair of former Yankees combined to pull the Twins within 2-1. It also knocked Cortes out of the game after 58 pitches.

Gary Sanchez hits an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Gary Sanchez hits an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Miguel Andujar reacts after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning.
Miguel Andujar reacts after hitting a two-run homer in the second inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“Everything felt great,” Cortes said. “Today was just about commanding and giving my team the best shot to win.”

Clarke Schmidt relieved Cortes and walked the first batter he faced before allowing a one-out single through the open left side to Nick Gordon that tied the game at two. Schmidt went on to provide three innings of relief to help a taxed Yankees bullpen.

For the first time since his ill-fated tenure in The Bronx, Sonny Gray started against the Yankees and struck out seven over six solid innings. The only damage came on Miguel Andujar’s first big-league homer of the season, a two-run shot that gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

“You have to look at this as an opportunity and try to contribute as much as you can,” Andujar, who was called up from Triple-A to replace the injured DJ LeMahieu earlier in the day, said through an interpreter. “The goal is to win as many games as we can, especially where we find ourselves now.”

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