Hicks' grab, Didi's 7 RBIs lead Yanks to wild win

MINNEAPOLIS -- Loud shouts, random yells and blaring, bass-thumping, speaker-rattling music could be heard vibrating through the heavy wooden doors that separated the New York Yankees' clubhouse from the Target Field service-level tunnel late Tuesday night.

All with good reason.

Minutes prior, the American League-leading Yankees -- led in large part by shortstop Didi Gregorius' five-hit, seven-RBI night and Aaron Hicks' game-ending, diving catch -- had secured arguably their biggest win of the season, coming back and holding on in the most dramatic of fashions on the road to beat the Minnesota Twins, the current kings of the AL Central, 14-12 in a back-and-forth game that ended in 10 innings.

"That's a postseason game right there," Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge said, hinting at an October rematch between the teams. "They're going out there giving their best, we're going out there giving our best. It came down to who wanted it more at the end.

"We'll see them down the road for sure."

Following Wednesday's regular-season series finale, the next time the Yankees and Twins could meet, the games would mean significantly more, with World Series hopes on the line.

And Gregorius might have a hand in it, just as he did Tuesday.

"He's a big reason why it's noisy in there right now," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said as more postgame shouts could be heard across from his closed-door office in the visitors clubhouse.

It was Gregorius' bat that spoke the loudest. A perfect 5-for-5, Gregorius became only the fifth Yankee since 1920 (the year RBIs became an official stat) to post a 5-for-5 day with seven RBIs in the same game.

It's also the second time in his career he has had a 4-for-4 or better game with seven RBIs, making him one of just three Yankees in history to have enjoyed multiple such contests in their careers. Lou Gehrig accomplished that feat three times, while Joe DiMaggio also did it twice.

"It was really good to see him just barrel the ball up all over the ballpark, line to line," Boone said of Gregorius. "Right in the middle of everything."

Gregorius doubled twice, homered once and had a pair of singles to go along with a walk. By the fifth inning, he already had five RBIs and had supplied all of the Yankees' offense to that point.

New York had once trailed 8-2.

Given a day off as the teams opened the series Monday, Gregorius used his break to develop a plan for how he wanted to attack Twins pitchers once he got back into the lineup. He took that plan into Tuesday's pregame batting practice and saw positive results.

"I was trying to drive the ball to left-center, and trying to stay consistent and trying to keep that in the game," Gregorius said. "I did that with the first pitch I saw from [Twins starter Kyle] Gibson. I drove it to left-center."

The double carried over Twins center fielder Max Kepler's head and plated Hicks and Edwin Encarnacion to give the Yankees a quick 2-0 lead.

Why did the left-handed-hitting Gregorius make going the other way such a big focus?

"I can sit on every pitch, basically," he said. "If I can track the ball that way and stay back on curveballs and changeups, then I'm able to drive them, too, and hit them hard. It's a work in progress, but so far it's good."

Gregorius wasn't the only Yankee making a ruckus with his bat.

In the ninth inning, with the Yankees one out away from dropping their third straight game, Hicks -- once a first-round Twins draft pick -- delivered a laser to the bullpens in left-center that left many of the remaining 32,470 fans stunned. The two-run homer, which came right after No. 9 hitter Mike Tauchman had drawn a full-count, two-out walk, pushed the Yankees out in front 12-11.

A half-inning later, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struggled trying to pick up the save, walking the bases loaded. Of his 29 pitches, 17 were balls. His shaky performance led to Jorge Polanco's game-tying sacrifice fly that sent the game to the 10th.

"You're going to have those [outings] over the course of 162 where guys hit a little bump in the road here and there, and it just was a tough night out there," Boone said. "But guys kept picking each other up, and those guys that we've leaned on so heavily, especially at the back end, have picked us up time and time again this year."

Gregorius' fifth and final hit came in the 10th inning, kicking off a one-out rally that ended with him scoring the go-ahead run. The batter behind him, catcher Austin Romine, also scored to give the Yankees the cushion they needed.

Romine had just entered the game in the eighth inning after starting catcher Gary Sanchez had suffered a left groin injury that Boone said will lead to a "possible" injured list stint. Sanchez will have an MRI on Wednesday. Last year, he went on the disabled list twice because of right groin strains.

"It felt kind of like a cramp," Sanchez said Tuesday through a translator. "It's nothing like what I had last year. The pain is completely different.

"It just feels a little tight, and it's not preventing me from walking or anything like that. So I'm positive about that. But like I said before, we got to wait 'til [Wednesday] 'til we get the test done and see where it is."

In terms of the cushion Romine's score provided, it was necessary in part because reliever Adam Ottavino loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th and was replaced by right-hander Chad Green with Minnesota in a good position to end things with one dramatic swing. That swing came, but the drama belonged to the Yankees.

On the crack of the bat as Kepler lined a 103-mph missile toward the warning track in left-center, Hicks took off. He had expected a ball to be hit on that side of his body after seeing Romine set up for a pitch along the outside corner to the lefty-hitting Kepler.

"Didn't want anything crazy to happen right there. I wanted to keep my eyes on that one," Hicks said of tracking the liner. "Line drive like that, you have to keep your eyes on that one."

With his sprint speed maxing out at 27.4 feet per second -- his fastest on an out he's recorded this season, according to Statcast -- Hicks traveled 74 feet before needing to extend himself into a full-stretch dive on the track.

"One hundred percent I thought it was down off the bat," Twins reliever Blake Parker said. "[Kepler's] been giving us good at-bats all year. That's what he does. And we knew he was the right guy up in that situation."

For the Yankees, Hicks was the right man to be playing in center.

Hicks got back up with the ball in his glove and a mouthful of warning-track dirt that he spent the next few minutes trying to spit out as he celebrated with teammates.

"That was a do-or-die play. That was a play that needed to be made in order for the game to end," Hicks said.

Said Kepler: "You do everything right, and it gets caught. That's baseball."

As soon as he saw the grab, Green lifted his arms in the air, applauding his teammate for coming away with "one of the best catches I've ever seen."

"I'm not a pitcher that shows much emotion," Green added. "Obviously I was relieved. The game was over at that point."

The game may be over, but the intrigue in the New York-Minnesota series may only be beginning.

"That's one of those games for being late July that we'll probably be talking about for a long time," Boone said. "I mean, our guys are just really, really good at competition. And that was the ultimate competition out there, where it was tough for both teams on the mound, and so many guys did some really, really special things."

ESPN's Jeff Passan contributed to this report.