By RACHEL COHEN AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Starlin Castro hit a game-winning home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees rallied to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8 on Wednesday.
New York trailed 8-4 going into the seventh, but Carlos Beltran’s three-run homer helped bail out CC Sabathia after his worst outing of the season.
It was the first career walkoff homer for Castro, who smashed the second pitch he saw from Jason Motte (0-1) to left field.
Sabathia had allowed just four earned runs total over his previous seven starts. He gave up five in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday.
Chase Headley also had a second-inning grand slam for the Yankees. Nick Hundley and Ryan Raburn homered for the Rockies.
Aroldis Chapman (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
The Yankees batted around in the seventh to tie the score. It all started when No. 9 hitter Rob Refsnyder reached base to open the inning on catcher’s interference by Hundley. Brett Gardner singled with one out, then Beltran smashed his 19th homer of the season to right to make it 8-7 and match his home run total for all of last year. He has seven in his past 16 games.
After Jordan Lyles retired Alex Rodriguez for the second out, former Yankee Boone Logan came on for the lefty-lefty matchup against Brian McCann. McCann doubled, and righty Miguel Castro replaced Logan. Castro legged out an infield single, then Didi Gregorius singled in McCann on an 0-2 pitch to tie it up.
Sabathia allowed six runs, five earned, and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. It was his shortest outing and most runs allowed all season.
Staked to a 4-0 lead on the grand slam, Sabathia immediately got himself in trouble with his pitching and defense. Hundley led off the top of the third with a single, then No. 9 hitter Brandon Barnes attempted a sacrifice bunt despite the four-run deficit.
It wound up being as good as a double when Sabathia fielded the ball and sailed the throw into right to put runners on second and third with no outs. Charlie Blackmon followed with a bloop single to center, and just like that it was 4-2.
Sabathia was quickly in trouble again to start the fourth. Trevor Story walked, and after Mark Reynolds’ one-out single, Hundley ripped a three-run homer to left-center for a 5-4 lead. It was the second straight start with a home run for Hundley, who entered the game hitting .229 since coming off the disabled list June 3 but went 2 for 4 on Wednesday.
Facing Nolan Arenado to open the fifth, Sabathia rolled his right ankle on a 1-1 delivery. Coaches and the trainer rushed to the mound, but Sabathia threw one warmup pitch and pronounced himself fine. He went on to walk Arenado then retired Carlos Gonzalez on a forceout, and with a right-handed slugger in Story coming up, Sabathia was taken out for Anthony Swarzak.
Story greeted Swarzak with an RBI double to center, immediately followed by Raburn’s two-run homer for an 8-4 lead.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-2) pitches on six days’ rest because of two days off this week when New York opens a three-game series against Minnesota in the Bronx on Friday. Tanaka beat the Twins in his previous start, allowing one earned run in eight innings.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (2-4), taking the injured Tyler Chatwood’s spot in the rotation, makes his eighth start of the season when Colorado opens a seven-game homestand against Arizona on Thursday. Butler is coming off a rough outing in relief of Chatwood in his most recent appearance, allowing six runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings Saturday.
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