Tribe Slugs Seven Homers in Big Apple Bashing; Indians 19, Yankees 5

The Cleveland Indians’ offense took advantage of a bullpen day by the New York Yankees, scattering 19 runs on 24 hits (including seven home runs) in a series opening 19-5 rout on Thursday night.

Four of five New York relievers to toe the rubber in the series opener of four from Yankee Stadium were tagged for at least four runs as the Indians put on a hitting display from the moment of first pitch. Cleveland had ten different players who recorded at least one hit, with all nine starters providing two hits or more. The offensive eruption backed a quality start by Adam Plutko, who surrendered two solo homers and three runs in total in six innings of work.

A seven-run first inning by the Indians punched the Yankees right in the mouth. After fouling off the first pitch of the game from opener Chad Green, Francisco Lindor singled to center. Greg Allen started his big day at the plate with a single to right to put two on and Carlos Santana fouled off four straight pitches before working an eight-pitch walk to load the bases. Yasiel Puig struck out in his return to the lineup for the first out before Jose Ramirez unloaded the bases on pitch eight of his at bat, driving a 98 MPH four-seamer to center for a grand slam, the first of his career, the second by the Tribe this week, and the third for the club this season to put Cleveland up, 4-0. That advantage was just temporary as the next hitter, Jason Kipnis, drove Green’s payoff pitch over the wall in right to send the Yankees pitcher to the showers.

Ramirez – Elsa/Getty Images

Jonathan Loaisiga came on and retired Franmil Reyes on a fly to left for the second out, but two more hits by the bottom of the lineup expanded the Indians lead. Tyler Naquin singled to second and came around to score on a two-run home run the opposite way by catcher Roberto Perez to give the Indians a seven-run first. Lindor flied to center as the tenth man to bat to finally end the first.

Plutko pitched himself into a little hole in the first with the 7-0 lead. DJ LeMahieu singled to center before Aaron Judge struck out for the first of four times on the night. Didi Gregorius singled the next pitch to right to put two on for former Indian Gio Urshela, who singled off of Plutko after fouling off three pitches to put the Yankees on the board with their first run of the game. Gary Sanchez lined out for the second out before Brett Gardner loaded the bases with a four-pitch walk, but Gleyber Torres lined to third to prevent a big inning by the Bronx Bombers.

Loaisiga came back out firing seeds in the second, striking out the first two hitters swinging before Puig joined the hit parade with a base hit to center. Ramirez drove home run number 19 over the wall in right for his second homer in two innings to give the Indians a 9-1 lead.

Plutko plunked a batter in the second and gave up an infield single to Gregorius in the third to keep the Yankees from cutting into the lead. Loaisiga retired the Tribe in order for the first time in the third, but the team used its fifth long ball in four innings to build up its lead further. Lindor lined to right against Chance Adams in his first inning of work before Allen doubled to left. After fouling off his first pitch, Santana added his name to the home run list with his 28th of the year, putting the Tribe up 11-1.

Plutko set down the Yankees in order in the fourth before the Indians added another run off of Chance in the fifth. Reyes singled to open the inning but was thrown out trying to move to second. Naquin singled and Perez walked before the duo was balked up 90 feet each. Lindor flied to left for the second out, but Allen notched his third hit of the game with a single to right that scored Naquin from third. Santana grounded out with runners on the corners to leave the score at 12-1.

Gregorius scored the Yankees’ second run with a solo blast off of Plutko in the fifth and Sanchez led off the sixth with a solo shot 441 feet to center to make it a 12-3 score.

The Tribe added on two more runs against Adams in the seventh to get back the two runs allowed on the solo shots. Perez singled before being erased on a double play ball. Allen was hit by a pitch and Santana doubled to right before Puig scored the pair with a single to left-center, extending the lead to 14-3. Ramirez walked before Nestor Cortes Jr. retired Kipnis on a fly to right to become the only Yankees pitcher to give the club a scoreless effort on the night.

Urshela scored another run for the Yankees in the seventh against reliever Hunter Wood. Mike Ford reached on a throwing error by Kipnis and LeMahieu singled to center before Wood got the next two men. Urshela singled to left to drive in Ford with his second RBI of the game to make it a 14-4 score.

The Indians added five more runs and two more homers in a six-hit eighth inning against designated hitter Ford, who took over as the “position player pitching”. Naquin doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Perez. Lindor knocked home a run with a single to right to make it 15-4. Allen parked the next pitch over the wall in right for a three-run home run and for the second time in the game, the Indians went back-to-back as Santana hit his second of the game to put the Indians’ 19th run of the game on the board.

Phil Maton pitched the eighth and ninth for the Indians, giving up a solo homer to Torres with one out in the eighth before retiring the final five men that he faced.

The Indians kept pace with the victorious Minnesota Twins to move to 73-49 on the season, a half game out of first place. The win moved manager Terry Francona into third place in the franchise’s all-time wins list at 618. Mike Hargrove is next ahead of him on the list with 721.

Plutko cleared six frames for the Indians, giving up three runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts to move to 5-3 on the season. Wood allowed an unearned run in the seventh, striking out a pair, while Maton was charged with one run on one hit with two strikeouts in two innings of work for Cleveland.

Allen – Elsa/Getty Images

Green was charged the loss after retiring just one batter in the first. He gave up five runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. He was hurt by the back-to-back homers in the first that accounted for all five of his runs allowed. Loaisiga gave up four runs on four hits in two and two-thirds, striking out four. Adams scattered ten hits and three walks over three and two-thirds innings while allowing five more runs. Ford, making his Major League pitching debut, gave up a pair of home runs and six hits in total with five runs scored in two innings of work. The rookie became the first position player in Yankees history to make it through two full innings on the mound.

Santana and Ramirez remain in a neck-and-neck RBI-battle for the team lead. Santana plated three in a three-hit game, hitting a pair of homers to give him 29 on the season. Ramirez recorded a season-high six runs batted in on a 2-for-3 day, hitting a pair of home runs and walking twice. Allen went 4-for-5 out of the second spot in the lineup, scoring four times and driving in four runs while finishing just a triple short of the cycle.

The Indians’ multi-hit display marked the first time that a team had every starter provide two hits or more since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. According to the Associated Press, the Indians last had all nine starters put up multi-hit games against Boston on May 18, 1906.

The heart of the Yankees order (Gregorius, Urshela, and Sanchez) accounted for six hits and four runs batted in.

Game two of the series is scheduled for a 7:05 PM ET start on Friday night. Yankees’ All-Star starter Masahiro Tanaka (8-6, 4.64 ERA) will start for New York, making his first start since firing eight shutout innings on Sunday against Toronto. Rookie righty Aaron Civale (1-1, 1.00 ERA) will start for the fourth time this season, looking to continue his career-opening quality start streak.

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

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