"I just had a gut feeling," manager Joe Girardi said.
Ibanez tied the game at 2 when he drove a 94 mph fastball from Jim Johnson over right-center field scoreboard with one out in the ninth.
It was the fifth time the Yankees hit a tying home run in the ninth inning or later of an extra-inning game that New York went on to win. The others were Tino Martinez in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, Scott Brosius the following night, Rodriguez in Game 2 of the 2009 division series and A-Rod in Game 2 of that year's AL championship series. (Elston Howard in 1957 and Tom Tresh in 1964 hit tying homers in games the Yankees went on to lose.)
In the 12th, Ibanez sent a 91 mph pitch from Brian Matusz into the right field second deck.
"I think the tendency late in the game when the game is tied is, I think as players, we try to do a little too much," Ibanez said. "I was trying to fight that feeling, trying not to do too much."
Ibanez's teammates had trouble digesting the inconceivable.
"It seemed like it was something out of a cartoon," Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda said through a translator. "It was unbelievable."