The Cleveland Indians play their first postseason game since 2001, welcoming in the New York Yankees for Game 1 of the American League Division Series. They play the ungracious host, as a three-run first and a five-run fifth inning lead them to an easy 12-3 victory.
Johnny Damon gave the Yankees the early advantage, hitting a leadoff home run off of Indians starter C.C. Sabathia. Against Chien-Ming Wang in the bottom of the inning, Cleveland scored three times – one on a two-out single from Ryan Garko and two more on a two-run bases loaded single from Kenny Lofton. Asdrubal Cabrera made it a 4-1 game in the third with a leadoff homer off Wang, but Robinson Cano got the run right back with a two-out solo homer in the fourth.
The Yankees pulled within one run in the fifth on an RBI-double by Bobby Abreu. Alex Rodriguez would be walked intentionally to load the bases and Sabathia worked out of it, striking out Jorge Posada and getting Hideki Matsui to pop up to short.
The Indians ripped the game open in the bottom of the inning. Victor Martinez hit a two-run home run. With two outs, Jhonny Peralta doubled and scored on a Lofton single. After a stolen base and walk, Casey Blake doubled home a pair off of reliever Ross Ohlendorf to make it 9-3 Tribe. Travis Hafner would add a solo homer the next inning and Lofton would drive in his fourth run of the game with a double, while Garko would hit a solo homer off of Phil Hughes in the eighth.
Sabathia earned the win, allowing all three Yankees runs and four of their five hits on the day in five innings of work. His six walks on the day did not come back to haunt him.