Indians Force Extras, Fall to Yankees in Ten; Yankees 7, Indians 6

The Indians rallied back from a 5-0 hole on Sunday and tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on the second error of the inning by the Yankees, but two doubles in the tenth gave New York a 7-6 win over Cleveland.

With Masahiro Tanaka pushed back from his scheduled start on Sunday due to the birth of his second child, the Yankees went with a bullpen game. The Indians essentially did the same as Shane Bieber was chased from the mound with just two outs in the second inning as the Yankees put up an early five-spot to take a big lead.

Bieber struck out the side in order in the first and got the first two outs in the second, including a caught looking of Gleyber Torres for the second out, before things drastically fell apart. Clint Frazier singled to left and trotted home on a first pitch deep blast to right by stitched up Brett Gardner. Gio Urshela walked and moved to second on an infield single by another former member of the Indians farm system, Cameron Maybin, to put two on. DJ LeMahieu made it five straight to reach with two outs with a single to center, scoring Urshela to make it 3-0. A wild pitch moved both runners up and Aaron Hicks worked a walk to load the bases. Luke Voit unloaded a pair, jumping on his first pitch and doubling to right to make it 5-0. A.J. Cole came on in relief for manager Terry Francona and walked Gary Sanchez before getting the tenth man to bat in the inning, Torres, to foul out to strand a pair.

Gardner – Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

The Yankees used Chad Green for the first two innings. After an uneventful first, he worked around some two-out base traffic in the second as Jose Ramirez singled to center, stole second, and was joined on base by Roberto Perez. With a chance to do some early damage of their own, the Indians missed the opportunity as Jake Bauers struck out swinging.

Cole walked a pair in the second, but picked off one of the runners to prevent a big inning. He turned the game over to Nick Goody in the fourth, and he worked a strong first frame against his former club, striking out all three outs around a two-out walk of Voit. His fifth inning showing was a little less dominant, as he got Torres to ground out before Frazier doubled to left. Gardner lined out to right, moving the runner to third before Urshela drew a walk to end Goody’s afternoon. Tyler Clippard, another former Yankee, came on and struck out Maybin swinging to leave an insurance run stranded at third. Clippard returned for the sixth, giving up a single to LeMahieu before erasing him on a double play ball and striking out Voit.

While the Yankees had made some noise through the first six innings, the Indians were notably quiet, in large part to three perfect innings filed away by Nestor Cortes Jr. That changed in the sixth as Tommy Kahnle came on in relief and promptly issued a first pitch home run to the slumping Leonys Martin to put the Indians on the board in a 5-1 contest. Francisco Lindor flied to left for the first out before Oscar Mercado singled to left and moved to second on a wild pitch. That enabled him to score with ease on a single to center by Carlos Santana, and a home run on a 2-0 fastball from Mike Freeman suddenly made it a 5-4 ball game. With the bases now emptied, Kahnle struck out Jordan Luplow before getting Ramirez to ground to his counterpart at third.

Tyler Olson retired the side in order before the stretch and the Indians came out swinging again in the seventh, this time against Adam Ottavino. After Perez grounded to short, Bauers made up for his missed chance with a runner in scoring position back in the second by driving a 3-0 two-seamer 434 feet to center field to tie the game at five.

Olson and Adam Cimber combined for a scoreless eighth, while Zach Britton did the same for the Yankees despite a one-out walk by Santana. Cimber’s second frame of work did not go as planned though as the Yankees loaded the bases with one out. Voit singled to left before Sanchez doubled the same way. Torres was intentionally walked for Frazier, who continued a good series against the club that drafted and developed him with a sacrifice fly to center to put the Yankees back in front, 6-5. Oliver Perez came on and left runners on the corners by getting Gardner to ground out.

The Indians had their work cut out against them in the bottom of the ninth, with three outs and Aroldis Chapman standing in their way. Ramirez started the inning with a single to left and he was able to move to second on a botched pickoff attempt by the hard-throwing left-hander. Perez walked on five pitches to put a pair on base. Bauers attempted to drop down a bunt but failed, popping it up easily to the first baseman for the first out. Kevin Plawecki pinch-hit for Martin and sent a deep drive to the warning track in left for the second out. Lindor stepped up with a chance to be the hero and grounded a 100 MPH 1-2 sinker to short, where Didi Gregorius, just into the game for defensive purposes, had what appeared to be a routine hop bounce off of his shin. The ball deflected towards the foul line, allowing a hustling Ramirez to score the tying run from second. Mercado struck out swinging in a tough at bat against Chapman to leave the winning run at third.

O. Perez came back to the mound for the top of the tenth as an exhausted Indians bullpen looked to keep the game tied. Urshela flied to center for the first out before Maybin doubled to center. LeMahieu moved the go-ahead run to third with a grounder to short and Hicks delivered the devastating blow with a second double in the frame, plating Maybin to make it 7-6. Gregorius struck out in his first at bat of the afternoon, unable to tack on more to make up for forcing extra innings.

Stephen Tarpley, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was brought on by manager Aaron Boone for the bottom of the tenth and he took care of the Tribe trio in strong fashion. He struck out Santana on the 3-2 payoff pitch, getting him with a slider. Freeman was frozen on a 2-2 pitch for the second out, and Luplow suffered a similar fate, striking out swinging on a 2-2 slider to end the ball game while issuing Tarpley his first Major League save.

“For Tarp to come in and close out the game was big,” said Boone. “That was about as tough a situation as you could come into. What a gutsy effort.”

Ramirez & Mercado – Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

The Yankees earned win number 40 on the year against 24 losses and avoided a three-game sweep in Cleveland. The Indians dropped to 33-32 on the season and lost a game on the victorious Minnesota Twins, who rolled the Tigers by a 12-2 count in Detroit.

“We’ll win that game sometimes,” Francona said. “We had a runner on third base. That was a heck of a game. There was a lot going on.”

Bieber lost things in a hurry despite striking out four of the first five batters that he faced on the night. He was charged with five runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts, throwing 48 pitches in his inning and two-thirds. The bullpen allowed two runs on six hits over the final eight and one-third innings, but did issue seven free passes.

The Yankees used seven pitches to get through their own bullpen game. Green and Cortes Jr. shut the Indians down early, allowing just a hit and a walk while striking out five over the first five innings. After that, things got a little sloppy. Kahnle allowed four runs on four hits in an inning, Ottavino suffered a blown save with his solo homer allowed to Bauers, and Chapman blew his second save of the season in the error-filled ninth.

Lindor’s 0-for-5 day at the plate dropping his batting average back below .300 at .298. Ramirez’s climbed back over .200 to .203 with a 2-for-4 day, the only multi-hit performance for the Tribe. Freeman’s homer was his first of the year and came after Jason Kipnis left with right hip tightness after striking out in his first two at bats.

Voit and Frazier each reached base three times with a pair of hits and a walk. Urshela drew four free passes out of the eight-spot. LeMahieu had two hits, but struck out three times. Gardner’s ninth homer of the season ended a tough hitless stretch at the plate.

Prior to the game, the Yankees placed starting pitcher Domingo German on the 10-day injured list.

While the Yankees will head back to New York to start a brief two-game series with the Mets on Monday, the Indians will take the day off before starting a quick two-game set on Tuesday with the Cincinnati Reds to conclude their eight-game homestand. Trevor Bauer (4-6, 3.93 ERA) is scheduled to start the series opener.

Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

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