The offense showed up today! Jacoby Ellsbury recorded an elusive hit, and then Trevor Bauer walked Brett Gardner. Alex Rodriguez popped up and Carlos Beltran lined out, but Brian McCann came through with a mammoth three run blast. McCann has now hit 20 or more dingers in nine seasons, a feat that's only been accomplished by four other catchers. Chase Headley's HBP brought Greg Bird to the plate, but Lonnie Chisenhall robbed him of his first hit by making a running catch on his line drive. Stephen Drew would add a run on a solo shot in the second, bringing the score to 4-0.
Michael Brantley would bring Giovanni Urshela in with a sac fly in the third to get Cleveland on the board, and then Carlos Santana knocked in another run. Eovaldi held them there, however, and the Yankees responded in turn by scoring two more of their own. Didi Gregorius led off by singling up the middle yet again, and then things got weird. Drew shot a double the other way to score Didi. Check your lottery ticket numbers, people. Brett Gardner banged a double off the wall to score Drew and Bauer was knocked out of the game.
In the 5th, Drew reached base on a throwing error by Urshela, and then a ray of light broke through. Jacoby Ellsbury worked a twelve-pitch walk off of Kyle Crockett, and then Gardner had his own battle that resulted in an RBI single. Thos two plate appearances were better than anything Ellsbury and Gardner have done in eons, and it's very encouraging. The threat ended when A-Rod grounded into a double play, but the Yankees were firmly in the driver's seat.
Two consecutive doubles by Yan Gomes and Abraham Almonte to start the 6th put the score at 7-3, and then a one out single under Bird's glove brought in another run and knocked out Nathan Eovaldi. Adam Warren entered and cleaned up the mess, but it marked yet another outing by Eovaldi that failed to make it out of the sixth inning. He left eleven outs for the bullpen to collect right before heading to confront the nastiest offense in the game in Toronto. Not good.
For some reason, despite getting a double play, Adam Warren would not start the seventh inning. Justin Wilson would pitch that inning. and he allowed two runners to reach base before Dellin Betances had to enter with runners on the corners and two outs. Betances went to a full count on Gomes before walking him, loading the bases for Almonte. Francisco Lindor scored on a wild pitch to make the score 7-5 before Betances struck out Almonte. Yikes.
The tandem of Drew, Ellsbury and Gardner struck again in the top of the 8th when Drew walked and was knocked in on back-to-back singles by Ellsbury and Gardner. Betances returned and pitched a scoreless 8th, but it took him 29 pitches to complete his outing. One has to wonder if he'll be available tomorrow.
In the ninth, Bird struck out looking to complete an 0-5 effort. He hit the ball very hard three times, twice the other way, but came up empty-handed. That's baseball, Suzyn. Lindor led off the second with a single, and after Michael Brantley struck out and Carlos Santana popped up, Chris Johnson singled in Lindor to make the score the 8-6. Miller struck out Almonte looking, and that was the ballgame.
The Yankees snapped a five game skid and the bats came alive, so it looks like things are back on track for the most part. Job well done, despite the bullpen having to work a lot. That may come back to bite the Yanks tomorrow when Ivan Nova throws down with David Price, but we shall see. A win is a win is a win.