The Yankees untimely second-half slump continued this series against the Cleveland Indians. While the Blue Jays completed a sweep of Oakland, they took first place in the AL East while the Yanks dropped the first two games against Cleveland. Ultimately, the Yankees got took the last game and remained .5 games behind the Jays.
The first game wasn’t decided until the 16th inning. It remained tied at 2 at the end of 9 thanks to a Carlos Beltran homer in the 8th off of starter Carlos Carrasco. In the 10th frame, it seemed as if the Yankees would come away with the victory after they scored 2 runs on a Chase Headley single. However, Cleveland tied it in the bottom half off of closer Andrew Miller, who blew his first save of the season. The two teams traded zeroes until Branden Pinder gave up a walk-off single in the 16th. Offensively, the Yankees were limited to 8 hits, 3 of them by Didi Gregorius. Headley led with 2 RBI.
Cleveland scored a run each in the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead off of rookie Luis Severino. He went 7 innings and gave up just those 2 runs. Carlos Santana opened the scoring with a soft RBI single in the first, and Jose Ramirez followed with his own run-scoring single in the 2nd. In the 10th, they clawed back from a 2-run deficit with a sac fly by Santana and a Yan Gomes single. The Indians pounded out 17 hits, with 3 players tallying 3-hit games. Each team used 8 pitchers in total.
After the Yanks took the lead in the second on a Brian McCann solo homer in the second game, CC Sabathia couldn’t keep it in the middle innings as they fell 2-1. Sabathia went 6 and gave up those 2 runs on 9 hits. Cleveland scored runs in back-to-back innings for the second straight night, this time in the 5th and 6th innings. Francisco Lindor and Abraham Almonte each had RBI singles to put the Indians in the lead for good. Ramirez and Santana led the way with 2 hits each.
Aside from the McCann dinger, the Yankees could get nothing going offensively all night. Danny Salazar pitched into the 8th and gave up 4 hits, which is all the Yankees got. McCann, Beltran, Brett Gardner, and Mark Teixeira each had a hit. Rodriguez hit into 2 double plays, and the Yankees struck out 11 times.
McCann got the offense going early in the first inning in the final game with a 3-run homer off of Trevor Bauer. The offense kept rolling from there, providing the team with an 8-6 victory in the final game. Gardner came to life with 3 hits and 3 RBI, and Stephen Drew added a homer and a double. Bauer couldn’t last 4 full innings, and gave up 6 runs. While they were outhit 21-10, but had 4 hits with runners in scoring position. Gregory Bird made his major league debut, going 0-5.
Nathan Eovaldi did what he does best, keeping the team in the game for 5.1 innings. He was tagged for 4 runs and wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, but the offense more than made up for it. Cleveland got as close as 7-5 in the 8th and 8-6 in the 9th, but the bullpen was able to hold it down and Andrew Miller earned his 25th save. 8 of the 9 Indians starters had a hit, and Yan Gomes had 3 of them.
While they dropped to second place in the standings, the Yankees were able to stop their 5 game skid in the finale of this set and gave them some much-needed confidence headed into their crucial weekend series with the Blue Jays. Let’s see who performed (and didn’t) this series:
Offensive MVP: Didi Gregorius- A 4-14 series was pretty good for an otherwise abysmal offensive series.
Cold Streak: Alex Rodriguez– Only one hit in the three games, including 1-6 in the extra-inning affair.
Pitcher of the Series: CC Sabathia- A solid 6 innings, but no run support.
Mound Misery: Nathan Eovaldi- with the recent offensive struggles, 4 runs in 5 innings may not be enough every time out.