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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | November 22, 2017

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Tomlin Crushed Early by Bronx Bombers; Yankees 7, Indians 1

By Robert Toth

Hiroki Kuroda dominated the Cleveland Indians for seven-plus innings and Josh Tomlin was shelled for three home runs as the New York Yankees won the series opener at Yankee Stadium by a final of 7-1.

The Yankees wasted no time plating a pair of runs in the first inning playing fundamental baseball. Curtis Granderson fouled off a handful of pitches before drawing a ten-pitch walk. Mark Teixeira followed with a single high off the wall in right field, moving Granderson to third. Robinson Cano would drive in the pair with a two-run double, but was thrown out trying to advance to third, effectively ending the early threat.New Yorkforced 35 total pitches from Tomlin in the inning and took a 2-0 lead.

The Yankees would strike again in the second, and it would come from one of the least likely of sources. After striking out Raul Ibanez to lead off the inning, Tomlin gave up a high hop single over the head of first baseman Casey Kotchman to Eric Chavez. Dewayne Wise, entering the game batting just .133, hit his first home run of the season to the seats in right to make it a 4-0 Yankee lead.

In the third, they extended their assault of Tomlin, again with the long-ball. After quickly retiring Granderson and Teixeira on five pitches, Cano hit his sixth home run in his last eight games and his 17th on the year with his solo blast to right field on a Tomlin changeup. Nick Swisher followed it with a solo blast of his own the opposite way to left field to make the score 6-0, despite a valiant leaping effort by left fielder Johnny Damon.

That would be plenty for Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-7), who limited the anemic Indians offense to just five hits over seven-plus innings. Kuroda struck out seven and walked a pair.

Kuroda would be charged with just one run on the game. Lonnie Chisenhall jumped on Kuroda’s first pitch of the eighth and singled to the gap in right center. Shin-Soo Choo would hit a one-hop double off of the wall in right field to move Chisenhall to third, chasing Kuroda from the game. A nice sliding catch in right by Swisher off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera would hold the runners pat, but Jason Kipnis would drive Chisenhall home with a sacrifice fly to Swisher again, his 42nd RBI on the year. A third fly out to Swisher, this time by Carlos Santana, would end the Indians’ scoring threat. 

For just the fourth time in his Major League career, Tomlin (3-5) failed to make it through five innings. The Yankees worked his pitch count up early in the game, and several costly mistakes would do in the Tribe starter. He lasted just three innings, allowing six earned runs on six hits, walking a pair, and striking out three. His three home runs allowed marked a new season high.

“From the get go,” Indians manager Manny Acta said, “He did not have command of his pitches. He could not command or locate any of his pitches. He was up in the zone.”

Damon would reach a career milestone in the seventh inning with a double down the third base line. It was the 521st double of his career and marked career hit number 2,750, moving him into 52nd place on the all-time career hit list. Michael Brantley continued his hot hitting at the plate as well, as he has now hit successfully in 29 of the last 31 games.

“We are going to have to get back up and be ready to play and score some runs,” Acta said. “When you don’t hit, you don’t hit.”

With the loss, the offensively-challenged Indians (37-35) have now lost three straight and drop to 18-7 in series openers. The loss also drops the Tribe to the .500 mark on the road at 17-17. For the 24th time on the season, the Indians scored two runs or less in a game. The Indians have scored just five runs and mustered 20 hits in their last four games (1-3).

The Yankees improve to 44-28 and extend their lead in the AL East to three games.

The two teams resume their storied rivalry Tuesday evening. The Indians look to avoid losing four games in a row for the first time this season. Justin Masterson (4-6, 3.98 ERA) will toe the rubber for his 16th start of the season and his fifth against the Yankees in his career. He has a 2-2 record in eight career appearances.New Yorkwill send right-hander Phil Hughes to the mound. Hughes (7-6, 4.94) looks to bounce back after giving up four home runs in his last outing at Yankee Stadium against the Atlanta Braves.

Follow Tuesday’s game live from New York at 7:05 pm ET on SportsTime Ohio and the Cleveland Indians radio network.

Photo: Getty Images