The Yankees entered this series finale with the Indians having a 2-1 series lead. With a win, they’d take the set; with a loss, they’d spilt. Plus, CC Sabathia was on the bump for the Yanks for the first time since returning from the injured list.
The Indians threatened early in the first inning. It started off well with Francisco Lindor getting robbed of a base hit by Didi Gregorius. Oscar Mercado followed that with a bloop single into right, before stealing second base. To make matters worse, Gary Sanchez air-mailed the throw into center, so Mercado advanced to third. With a chance to drive in the runner, Carlos Santana chopped one to Gio Urshela at third, but he was able to cut the runner down at the plate, preserving the zero in the top of the first.
Cleveland would get on the board in the second, and in a big way. Franmil Reyes and Roberto Perez both singled to start the inning, then Jason Kipnis bunted them over. Greg Allen then came up and rolled one over to short. Gregorius tried to nail the runner at home, but Reyes was able to get in before the tag. The big blow came off the bat of the very next batter, Mike Freeman. He blasted a three-run shot into the Yankees’ bullpen to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.
The Yankees picked up their first hit in the second off a double down the third-base line by Brett Gardner. However, the Yankees failed to drive him in, still 4-0 Tribe.
Sabathia’s day was done after the third inning. He gave up four runs, while walking three and striking out five. This being CC’s first start in over three weeks, he wasn’t expected to go deep into the ballgame anyway. Nestor Cortes Jr. entered in relief. He got Freeman out on strikes, but surrendered a solo homer to Lindor, which extended the Cleveland lead to five.
The Tribe tacked on another run in the sixth. Freeman doubled to lead off the inning, and was later driven home by a single off the bat of Mercado. Cortes Jr. was then pulled one batter later, as Aaron Boone called upon Luis Cessa to get out of the jam. He did just that, getting Yasiel Puig to ground into an inning-ending double play. But still, the Indians went up 6-0.
Mike Clevinger would not enter in the bottom half of the inning. He went five innings, allowing three hits, no runs, and 10 strikeouts. That was a sigh of relief for the Yankees, as they showed some life against Nick Goody. Sanchez worked a two-out walk, and Gardner laced his second double of the game. Gardy has been on fire of late as 12 of his last 15 hits have gone for extra bases. Gleyber Torres came up with runners on second and third, but he flew out to center to end the frame.
The Yankees went through the first 6.1 innings scoreless, threatening to end their streak of scoring a run in 207 straight games. DJ LeMahieu made sure that didn’t end today. He extended the streak to 208 consecutive games by slapping a two-run homer into the short porch, cutting Cleveland’s lead to four. The Yanks are now tied for the third-longest streak in MLB history without being shut out.
DJ LeMahieu has saved this team A LOT. This time, he saves the streak of 208 consecutive games without being shutout, tying the third longest streak in MLB history! pic.twitter.com/nFoJcu5ruD— Kyle ⚾️ (@KyleNYY) August 18, 2019
Mercado stretched the lead to 8-2 in the eighth, as he hit a two-run laser into the left-field seats.
The Yankees were able to scratch some runs across in the ninth. LeMahieu drove Torres in from third making it 8-3 Indians. He is now hitting .413 with runners in scoring position with 64 RBI. Aaron Judge followed by lacing a double into left field, scoring Mike Tauchman to make it 8-4. That’s all they’d be able to muster, as that would be the final score. The Yanks and Indians spilt the four-game set, and New York went 6-2 on this homestand.
The Yankees will have an off-day tomorrow, and they will fly to Oakland, California to play the A’s for three games. Domingo German will be on the mound for game one.