Guardians rally in 9th to stun Yankees with 3-2 victory
Things were not going well for the Cleveland Guardians in their series opener in The Bronx against the New York Yankees. Well on their way to being on the wrong end of a Maddux courtesy of Domingo German, Cleveland had only one hit entering the 9th inning. It appeared that Clevealnd was going to come out flat in their first game in New York, leading to only more concerns about their offense and what needs to be addressed.
Enter Aaron Boone
Thanks to some perfectly timed game mismanagement from Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the Guardians were able to take advantage of the situation at hand and tip the scales in their favor. Despite only throwing 88 pitches through 8.1 innings, Boone removed German from the game after allowing a one-out single to Steven Kwan as the Yankee Stadium crowd booed relentlessly. German was still in position to complete the Maddux and if not, win the game outright. Cleveland had a tough time solving anything that German was throwing Monday night, but Boone decided that it was time to turn to Clay Holmes. Things did not go well with Holmes on the mound as victory escaped the Yankees' grasp.
A field error from Holmes allowed Amed Rosario to reach base safely with Kwan now on second. Jose Ramirez would follow with a single of his own to load the bases, setting up Josh Naylor to be the hero, and a hero he would be.
Naylor drove a single into right field with both Kwan and Rosario scoring, the latter scoring on an error which allowed Naylor to advance to second. That was more than enough for Boone to come out agian, this time to more boos, to replace Holmes with Wandy Peralta.
A quick five pitch walk to Josh Bell reloaded the bases. Andres Gimenez would strike out to present the Yankees with a chance to escape with a share of the lead, but the patience of Mike Zunino had a different idea. Zunino would work a walk and Ramirez would score the game-winning run.
Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase would come in bottom half of the frame to shut the door with a 1-2-3 inning, giving Cleveland a hard earned win.
Looking at the big picture for the Guardians
This is the second straight series opening win for the Guardians, but only the fourth victory in their last 10 games. Cleveland has been able to avoid a couple sweeps as of late, but have not won a series since taking two of three against the Nationals in mid-April. Tuesday's game is a tough matchup as the Yankees will turn to Gerrit Cole in Game 2, but getting a win Monday puts them in position to possibly win the series in New York if they can manage to win just one more game in The Bronx.
A series win would go a long way for the Guardians. Cleveland has been hovering at or around .500 for some time and they are now just a game below at 14-15. The Guardians are currently three games behind the American League Central leading Minnesota Twins. A series this upcoming weekend could shake things up as the Twins come to town for three games starting Thursday.