CHICAGO — Brett Gardner lined a slider from Hector Rondon into the right-field bleachers with two outs in the ninth inning for a three-run homer that lifted the New York Yankees over the World Series champion Chicago Cubs 3-2 in a dramatic series opener Friday.
Home runs by Kris Bryant in the first and Kyle Schwarber in the sixth off Michael Pineda staked the Cubs to a 2-0 lead on a 45-degree afternoon with the wind blowing in.
Chase Headley singled with one out in the ninth off Rondon (0-1), pitching after Wade Davis appeared in the previous three games. Jacoby Ellsbury, in his first appearance since injuring an elbow Monday, pinch hit with two outs and walked after a 2-1 pitch at the knees was called a ball by umpire Ryan Blakney.
Gardner fouled off a pair of 1-2 fastballs, took a ball and on his seventh pitch of the at-bat — the 29th to Gardner in the game — he hit his fifth home run of the season, all in the last six games.