BRONX, N.Y. — It took long enough to get there but the New York Yankees made quick work of the Cleveland Guardians, clinching their ALDS with a 5-1, Game 5 victory.
Pitching on three days’ rest, Nestor Cortes Jr. set the tone with an eight-pitch first frame.
From there, the Bronx Bombers jumped all over Aaron Civale, who never got comfortable and only recorded one out in the first inning. Gleyber Torres coaxed a walk on four consecutive pitches, Anthony Rizzo reached on a one-out hit-by-pitch, and playoff Giancarlo Stanton set the tone on the offensive side, parking a three-run bomb to right, for a 3-0 advantage.
It was a bit of deja vu from Game 2 but the Yankees kept adding to their lead this time around. During the second stanza, Aaron Judge added a porch pop off Sam Hentges, making it 4-0. It was his fourth home run in a winner-take-all contest, the most in MLB history.
Cortes was economical with 61 pitches in five frames. He worked his cut-fastball to aplomb, scattered three hits, walked one and yielded only one run, after yet another bloop to the Bermuda Triangle in left set up a sac fly for Jose Ramirez in the third inning.
New York would get that run back in the fifth frame. Facing Trevor Stephan, Torres took the leadoff spot to heart and coaxed another walk and stole second base. After Judge struck out, Rizzo lined an RBI-single to center off James Karinchak, making it 5-1.
The bullpen would make the lead stick, with two scoreless frames and two K’s from Jonathan Loaisiga, one scoreless inning and two strikeouts by Clay Holmes and finally Wandy Peralta, working his fifth outing of the series, working a scoreless ninth, ending it with a ground out to second and it was rock-a-bye Gleyby as the Yankees sent the Guardians packing.