There were moments in this game where it looked like the Indians might pull away. Ivan Nova struggled through five innings, but somehow he managed to keep Cleveland to just three runs. And while the bullpen kept the Indians at bay, Josh Tomlin was handling the Yankees' offense. However, the Indians never put away the Yankees, and in the ninth, a rally started. The Yankees got the winning run in scoring position, but that was as far as the rally got. Cleveland managed to close the door in the Yankees' faces just in time, coming away with a 3-2 win.
In the top of the second, the Indians struck first. Carlos Santana drew a lead-off walk and would come all the way around to score when Lonnie Chisenhall doubled. An inning later, they tacked on another run. Jason Kipnis started it off by picking up a one-out double. A Francisco Lindor ground out moved Kipnis into scoring position. Michael Brantley would single him home to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, the Indians added even more. Nova got the first two outs pretty easily but then walked Abraham Almonte. Two straight singles by Giovanny Urshela and Jose Ramirez scored Almonte and made it 3-0.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Alex Rodriguez led off the inning by crushing a home run that made it 3-1.
Nova would pitch a pretty easy fifth inning, but after that his day was over. He went five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. He did strike out four, but overall, he didn't look that great. Nova would be replaced by Adam Warren.
After Nova's exit, the pitching really wasn't the problem. Warren threw two solid innings. Even Chris Capuano pitched two scoreless innings. The bullpen kept them in the game, and it was up to the offense to do something.
Down to their last chance in the ninth, Rodriguez got the inning started off with a single. Rodriguez move up a base during the next at bat, which ended with a Brian McCann strikeout. Girardi was ejected following that at bat after coming out to argue balls and strikes. After all that died down, Carlos Beltran singled to score Rodriguez and cut the deficit to just one run. Greg Bird then came up to the plate in the form of the winning run. He drew a walk, moving a pinch-running Chris Young into scoring position and bringing up Chase Headley. Headley grounded one to first for what could've been a game-ending double play, but Santana bobbled the ball. He still got Headley at first. but the other two runners both moved up a base. That left the game up to Didi Gregorius. Unfortunately, Gregorius flew out to left field and the rally fell just short as the Yankees dropped the series-opener 3-2.
The series against the Indians continues tomorrow at 7:05 eastern. Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for the Yankees, while Carlos Carrasco will go for Cleveland.