Cleveland Indians Fall 5-4 to New York Yankees

Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Indians dropped their second in a row at home with a 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees Thursday night. The loss dropped the Indians to 51-34 on the season; however, they maintained their 6.5 game lead in the American League Central division thanks the Detroit Tigers losing as well. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees moved to within a game of .500 with the win at 42-43.

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After pitching five shutout innings in relief his last time out, Tribe starter Trevor Bauer (L, 7-3) came out looking every bit as good to start the game, putting up zeros in the first four innings. However, he ran into trouble after that and last just 5 2/3 innings on the night allowing five runs on eight hits, two walks, and just four strikeouts.  The Yankees first got to Bauer in the top of the 5th inning on a solo home run by Didi Gregorius, his 10th of the season, making it 2-1 Indians at the time. However, the Yanks soon tied it up on an RBI single by Brett Gardner to scoring Chase Headley.

The Yankees took the lead in the 6th inning on an RBI single by Headley that scored Starlin Castro making it 3-2 New York. Castro was originally called out after he slid past the base but New York challenged the play and the call was overturned. It was a huge turning point in the game as it not only gave the Yanks the lead but meant there were only one out in the inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd instead of two outs. Both runners would eventually score with the first coming on a sacrifice fly by Rob Refsnyder and the latter on an RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury, coming off T.J. House who entered in relief of Bauer. Outside of allowing the inherited runner to score, the Indians’ bullpen had a rather solid day. House went 1/3 of an inning getting out of the 6th before Dan Otero, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen each worked scoreless inning.

The Tribe offense got some early fireworks thanks to a pair of solo home runs by Tyler Naquin and Jason Kipnis in the 3rd inning to give the Indians a 2-0 lead off Yankees’ starter Ivan Nova (W, 6-5).  It was Naquin’s eighth home run of the season, all of which have come since being recalled at the beginning of June. For Kipnis, it was his 12th home run of the year. After falling behind in the top of the 6th inning the Indians began a comeback getting two back in the bottom of the inning thanks to back-to-back doubles by Carlos Santana and Kipnis to start the inning. Santana would then score on a wild pitch by Ivan Nova, and Kipnis would score on an RBI groundout by Mike Napoli off Yankees’ reliever Dellin Betances.

Unfortunately for the Indians though, that was all they would get on the night as the trio of Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman put up zeros over the final three frames. They did get some base runners and threatened a couple times, especially in the 7th inning. After a two-out single by Naquin, he stole second base to get in scoring position for pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte. The threat appeared to die when Almonte struck out on three pitches, but Betances’ pitch went to the backstop which allowed Naquin to get to third and should have allowed Almonte reach first. However, Almonte did not see that the ball went to the backstop and never ran to first til it was too late and was thrown out by a half-step. The real killer was on the play, Naquin did not stop at third base and would have scored as Betances failed to cover home as a pitcher should.

The Indians then threatened again in the 9th putting runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs when it appeared Naquin had an infield single to load the bases. However, upon a video review, it was determined that Naquin was out and thus the game ended with the Tribe’s rally falling short in a 5-4 loss.

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The Indians will look to snap this small two-game losing streak with newly named All-Star Corey Kluber (8-8, 3.79 ERA) on the hill. The Yankees will counter with right-hander Chad Green (1-1, 4.09) who will be making just this third career start. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Progressive Field.