Houston, TX – Mark Reynolds' solo home run began a four-run top of the 14th inning for the New York Yankees, who ended a disappointing season on a high note with a 5-1 decision over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Eduardo Nunez added a two-run double while going 3-for-7 as the Yankees, who won't be part of the American League Playoffs for only the second time in the last 19 years, capped off a three-game sweep of the lowly Astros to finish with an 85-77 record, their lowest win total in a full season since 1992.
"I see it as a year where there are probably more areas to address than there have been in a long time," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "So there's a lot to be done in the offseason."
Houston (51-111), meanwhile, closed out a trying 2013 campaign with its 15th consecutive defeat and 111th loss overall, both franchise records.
"You would like to have fared better as far as the record," Astros first-year manager Bo Porter said. "I give those guys credit. Even these last 15 games, they've come to the park and toed it up every day and didn't bow down to any one of these teams."
Matt Daley (1-0), one of six New York relievers that combined for nine scoreless innings in relief of starter David huff, picked up the victory with two perfect frames of work.
The Astros received seven outstanding innings from Erik Bedard in the finale, with the lefty yielding just three hits and no runs while striking out nine, but managed just two hits while being held scoreless after the opening stanza.
Bedard was in line for his fifth win of the season after leaving with a 1-0 lead that the Houston bullpen couldn't hold. Nunez doubled off Josh Zeid with one down in the top of the eighth and came around on Curtis Granderson's two- out single up the middle against Kevin Chapman to pull the Yankees even.
New York threatened in the ninth when David Adams tripled to deep center with two outs, but the Astros' Josh Fields struck out Brendan Ryan to end the Yankees' half of the inning.
Neither team managed much offense in extras until Reynolds belted a 1-1 pitch from Lucas Harrell (6-17) over the wall in left center to break the stalemate. Two-out singles by Ryan and Zoilo Almonte extended the inning for Nunez, who shot the ball into the right-center field gap for a double that brought in both runners. Nunez scored on a J.R. Murphy single to put New York up 5-1.
Harrell, who worked 4 2/3 innings, was charged with all four runs in the 14th.
Huff limited Houston to a run on three hits while fanning seven over five innings in his second start of the season. His afternoon didn't begin well, however, as Jonathan Villar began the bottom of the first with a double and Dominguez singled him home two batters later.
The Yankee left-hander proceeded to set down 14 of the next 15 hitters before being relieved by Brett Marshall to start the bottom of the sixth.
Houston has lost 324 games over the past three seasons, tying the 1915-17 Philadelphia Athletics for the third-most in MLB history over a three-year stretch ... The Yankees improved to 6-0 lifetime at Minute Maid Park and 13-2 all-time against the Astros ... Harrell's 17 losses were the second-most in the majors this year, surpassed only by the Cubs' Edwin Jackson's 18 ... Granderson, Ryan and Almonte all finished with two hits.