The New York Yankees took on the visiting Cleveland Indians in the second of four games, with Masahiro Tanaka taking the hill for the first time since his complete game in Toronto. Carlos Carrasco took the mound for the Indians. After dropping Thursday’s contest, the Yankees entered play with a 1.5 game division lead in the AL East.
Tanaka first faced trouble in the top of the second inning, allowing a double to Lonnie Chisenhall, then hitting Yan Gomes, putting runners at first and second with just one out. Tanaka was able to escape the threat, by getting Abraham Almonte to hit into a 1-6-3 double play.
Tanaka was once again in trouble in the top of the third as Jose Ramirez hit a one-out triple past a diving Greg Bird down the first base line. Tanaka was able to retire the AL batting leader, Jason Kipnis, but Francisco Lindor scored Ramirez, lining a single past Chase Headley. Tanaka was able to retire Michael Brantley to end the inning, but once again the Yankees were playing from behind, trailing 1-0.
The Yankees were able to respond in the bottom of the fourth, as Carlos Beltran ripped a two-out double over Almonte’s head and off the center field wall. Bird followed with a line drive RBI single to left field, tying the game at one.
After the offense was able to equal the score, the Indians were able to threaten in the top of the fifth, as Almonte picked up an infield single off Tanaka’s glove. Following a pop out, Tanaka walked Ramirez, and facing Kipnis, Tanaka received some help from the glove of Stephen Drew, who took away what was destined to be a RBI single, making a diving play to pick up a force out.
With two outs, after the run-saving play, Lindor chopped one over the head of Tanaka, reaching on an error by Yankees shortstop Brendan Ryan, a play he makes nearly every time, scoring Almonte, and putting the Indians back ahead. With two-outs, and runners on first and second, Tanaka was able to recover, getting Brantley to ground out, ending the inning.
Leading off the top of the sixth, Carlos Santana popped a foul ball, that Brian McCann couldn’t handle, and dropped. The following pitch, Santana ripped a line drive home run over the right field wall, giving the Indians a 3-1 lead. Tanaka was able to escape further damage.
Tanaka’s night was done after one batter in the seventh, after allowing a leadoff single to Ramirez, with Chasen Shreve coming on to replace him. Tanaka left after allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned) across six innings, while picking up three strikeouts, walking only one batter, responsible for Ramirez.
After retiring Kipnis on a ground out, which allowed Ramirez to move to second, Shreve threw a wild pitch which moved Ramirez to third with just one out. Following a walk to Lindor, Brantley singled to left field, pushing the lead to 4-1, accounting for Tanaka’s fourth run (third earned) allowed of the night.
Shreve was able to strike out Santana, and get pinch-hitter Jerry Sands to ground out to Drew, ending the Indians threat, although trailing 4-1 with a struggling offense, the Yankees were fighting a tough uphill battle.
After Carrasco struck out Beltran and Bird, to push his strikeout total to 11, Jacoby Ellsbury picked up a pinch-hit single, batting for Chris Young. Drew followed with a single of his own, giving the Yankees an opportunity to strike off Carrasco with runners at first and second and two-outs for pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius, hitting for Ryan.
Southpaw Kyle Crockett was brought on to attempt to end the Yankees threat, ending Carrasco’s night. Carrasco left after allowing five hits and just one run, picking up 11 strikeouts and one walk. Crockett was able to end the Yankees threat, striking out Gregorius to end the inning.
Nick Rumbelow took over for Shreve to begin the eighth inning, and was able to work a 1-2-3 inning, keeping the deficit at 4-1 with the top of the order coming up for the Yankees.
Brett Gardner, who went 1-2 with a walk off Carrasco, picked up a drag bunt to leadoff the inning. Zach McAllister was brought in to replace Crockett, and face Headley, who hit a first-pitch single to center field, bringing Alex Rodriguez to the plate, as the tying run, with runners at first and second with nobody out. Rodriguez singled up the middle, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Following flyouts by McCann and Beltran, which failed to advance the runners, Bird hit a ground ball, which should’ve ended the inning, yet went through the legs of Ramirez at second base, scoring Headley, cutting the lead to 4-3. The Indians went to their closer, Cody Allen, to face Ellsbury with runners at first and second.
Allen, looking for a four-out save, walked Ellsbury to load the bases for Drew, who hit a flyout to left field, ending the threat, sending the game to the ninth inning with the Indians leading 4-3.
Justin Wilson replaced Rumbelow in the top of the ninth, allowing a leadoff single to Ramirez, who improved to 3-3 with a walk. Kipnis followed with a ground-rule double giving the Indians runners at second and third with nobody out.
After striking out Lindor, Brantley was able to single off Wilson, scoring Ramirez, giving the Indians a 5-3 lead. Santana followed by grounding into an RBI force out, pushing the lead to 6-3. With Santana on first and two-outs, Sands ripped an RBI double, scoring Santana, giving the Indians a 7-3 lead. Wilson responded by striking out Gomes sending the game to the bottom of the ninth with the Yankees down four runs.
Allen was able to retire the Yankees in order in the bottom of the ninth, extending the Yankees losing streak to two games. In a very winnable game, the Yankees ended up dropping their fourth in five games against the Indians.
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