Yankees Stay Hot With Walk and Error Aided Four-Run Fifth; Yankees 5, Indians 2
Bob Toth | On 05, May 2018
The New York Yankees won for the 14th time in their last 15 games, capitalizing on three walks and a pair of errors in the fifth inning to defeat Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians, 5-2, from Yankee Stadium.
Saturday proved a vivid reminder of how quickly things can change in a baseball game, whether you are a believer in things like momentum in sports or not. After the Indians took the lead in the top of the fifth, things quickly spiraled out of control for Bauer, who had been perfect through the first four and one-third innings. Three walks, one hit, and one unfortunate double error by Francisco Lindor in the inning turned a one-run Cleveland lead into a three-run deficit and the Yankees would finish off the luck-aided win.
Bauer had worked easily through four frames, striking out a batter in the first, two in the third, and two more in the fourth. His counterpart, Sonny Gray, retired the first six in order before getting into a mess in the third. Tyler Naquin singled to start the inning before Roberto Perez struck out. Bradley Zimmer doubled to center, moving Naquin to third. Lindor walked to load the bases with one out, but Jason Kipnis struck out swinging and Jose Ramirez flied to center. The Indians squandered a leadoff walk by Michael Brantley in the next frame.
The Indians skipped run production in the top of the fifth and relied on the heaviest source of their offensive production this season – the long ball. With two outs, Lindor got into a long battle with Gray, ultimately sending the eighth pitch, a 3-2 two-seamer, over the wall in right-center for a solo shot, his eighth of the year.
While handling the Indians’ early scoring, Lindor would also find himself highly involved in the Yankees’ own efforts at the dish. Bauer retired his 13th straight hitter to open the afternoon, getting Giancarlo Stanton to foul out to first. He would lose the next two hitters in lengthy at bats, walking Neil Walker on seven pitches and Miguel Andujar on eight to end his bid for perfection. A single from Gleyber Torres ended his no-hitter and loaded the bases for Austin Romine, who drew a walk on eight pitches to force in the tying run. The downward spiral continued as Ronald Torreyes changed the game with a grounder to Lindor at short. He booted the ball, but recovered and attempted to throw to Ramirez at third for the force but threw wide of the bag. Andujar scored easily on the first error and on the second error, Torres motored home to put the Yankees on top, 3-1. A sacrifice fly from Brett Gardner scored Romine to make it 4-1.
The Indians responded for a run in the sixth off of Gray. Ramirez started the inning with a ground rule double to left. A pair of grounders from Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion would move him the rest of the way around the bases with Cleveland’s second run of the day, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
Bauer allowed his second hit of the afternoon in the sixth, but struck out the next two and stranded Aaron Hicks at first, keeping the game close in his final inning of work. Gray was done after six, turning it over to Chad Green. He pitched two perfect innings, striking out four.
The Yankees added on in the seventh against right-hander Ben Taylor. After striking out Torres to begin the inning, Romine doubled to right-center and Zimmer left the game after colliding with the wall with a left shoulder injury. Torreyes struck out for the second out, but Gardner delivered his second RBI in as many at bats with a single to left, making it a 5-2 game.
Green exited after his two innings of work and manager Aaron Boone went to David Robertson for the save instead of the usual closer Aroldis Chapman, who had worked the previous two games and whose wildness allowed the Indians to tie the game on Friday night in the top of the ninth. Robertson struck out Brantley before a one-out double by Encarnacion, his second of the year. Yonder Alonso’s horrible day at the plate continued with his fourth strikeout for the second out, and Naquin grounded out to short to end it.
The Indians (17-16) are now 6-8 on the road this season and have dropped two straight to open their five-game road trip. The Yankees (23-10) are now 13-5 at home and could move into a tie with Boston atop the American League East with a Red Sox loss in Texas against the Rangers later in the evening.
Bauer (2-3) took the loss despite a two-hit effort in six innings. He allowed four runs (two earned) on the two hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. He departed after 102 pitches thrown, including 65 for strikes.
Gray (2-2) earned a win in one of his better starts of the year. He worked six innings in a quality effort, giving up two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Green got his third hold of the year with two perfect innings pitched with four strikeouts. Robertson, one night after being charged with a blown save, earned his first save of the year with one hit allowed and a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth.
After the ball flew all over the yard on Friday night, hits and runs were more at a premium on Saturday. The Yankees had just four hits, but used the three walks and the two errors on Lindor to their advantage. The Indians had five hits of their own, but could push across just two runs. No player in the contest accounted for more than one hit or one walk. Lindor and Romine were the only two players to reach base safely via hit and walk twice in the game.
The Indians went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded five on the afternoon. Of their five hits, four were for extra bases (doubles by Zimmer, Ramirez, and Encarnacion; homer by Lindor). Kipnis, Brantley, and Perez each struck out twice while Alonso struck out in all four of his plate appearances to continue his slump at the plate.
The Yankees had hits by Gardner, Hicks, Torres, and Romine, with the latter the only extra base hit that they recorded. Gardner drove in two runs. Stanton and Torres struck out twice, while Aaron Judge was set down three times via strikeout.
The two clubs will wrap up their series on Sunday afternoon in another 1:05 PM ET start. The Yankees will use a spot starter, calling on 25-year-old right-handed reliever Domingo German (0-1, 3.77 ERA) to make his first Major League start filling in for the injured Jordan Montgomery. It will be German’s first career appearance against the Indians. Cleveland will call upon right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-0 2.82) to get back into the win column after back-to-back no-decisions in losses to the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. The big inning has been his undoing in three of his last four starts, but he still gave the Indians a quality start his last time out, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and a season-high seven strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings. It will be his second career game against the Yankees and his first start against them.
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