It was the start of a shiny new series at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees took on the Cleveland Indians. Starting pitcher number 500 for New York Esmil Rogers faced off against Trevor Bauer. It was smooth sailing for the Yankees until the bullpen got involved, but the offense stepped up to save the day.
The Indians started things off in the first inning. Jason Kipnis led off the game with a double and came around on a Carlos Santana single. The Yankees opted to counter that five times over in the bottom of the inning. After Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury both reached safely, Carlos Beltran tied the game up with a run scoring single. A Brian McCann single followed, which set up a bases loaded walk to Chase Headley to make it 2-1 Yankees. Stephen Drew came next and singled to up the score it to 3-1. The Yankees then caught a break as Jason Kipnis booted a Martin Prado grounder and then flipped it over Jose Ramirez's head, netting the Yankees two more runs in the process. When the dust settled it was 5-1 Yankees with only six outs gone by.
Bauer lasted only 3.1 innings before he got the hook, but Rogers made it all the way through the fifth with nary another scratch. He would be relieved by David Huff who was unable to take the baton without fumbling it. Huff allowed three hits and a run before mercifully getting pulled in the sixth for Shawn Kelley before he could totally wipe out the lead. Kelly got the final out to keep it at 5-2. With things getting a little close for comfort, the Yankees added a whole lot of insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Following the always foreboding intentional walk to Ellsbury to load the bases, Beltran crushed a John Axford offering into the seats in right for a four run homer. Or, as the kids call it, a grand slam. The Yanks then got the score to double digits courtesy of a Francisco Cervelli double and a throwing error from Ramirez. 10-2 good guys and the rout was on.
Then the rout was quickly called off, as Kelley reverted back to whatever awful entity he was earlier on in the season. He recorded zero outs in the seventh while walking in a run and allowing four batters to reach safely. Then Adam Warren came in to throw some gas on the fire by allowing a two run double to Santana and a sacrifice fly to David Murphy. Warren would eventually retire the side. Cushy lead gone, opportunity to give the best of the bullpen a day off evaporated. 10-6 Yankees. Warren was relieved in the eighth by Rich Hill of all people, who recorded his first two outs as a Yankee with a timely double play.
Another pleasant surprise from a new face called in to replace another starter that died. Rogers was excellent, just as he had been out of the bullpen. You knew he wasn't going to go long, but you figured that by using Kelley early on Joe Girardi would keep the game from getting interesting. But as always, the best laid plans. Kudos to the offense for pummeling a pitcher who just had nothing to offer tonight and adding insurance runs as needed. The only true negative on the night was Brian McCann exiting due to a mild concussion, so he'll be out for a couple of games. Cervelli's certainly capable of holding down the fort, though.
The teams play based ball again tomorrow afternoon. Brandon McCarthy looks to continue the run of magical starting pitching against the awesome Corey Kluber. Game kicks off at 1:05 PM.