For the Cleveland Guardians, minor hits lead to significant victories.
Starting the 10th inning with a popup that landed in left field, 200 feet from home plate, José Ramirez sprinted to get to third base. Oscar Gonzalez advanced him with the go-ahead run on an even shorter opposite-field flare to right, and he later came around to score on Josh Naylor’s double, the inning’s lone hard-hit ball.
After Cleveland rallied a two-run deficit to defeat the New York Yankees 4-2 on Friday, Guardians manager Terry Francona remarked, “It’s not an easy way to win but it doesn’t mean you can’t.” The win brought the best-of-five AL Division Series to a tie after game one.
Winner Emmanuel Clase paired with Trevor Stephan and James Karinchak for 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief, which was his longest outing in the major leagues. Cleveland ended a six-game postseason losing streak against the Yankees, finishing 29th among the 30 big league clubs in home runs.
Game 3 will go place on Saturday night in Cleveland. Due to a Thursday rainout, Game 2 was postponed by one day. Therefore, there is no travel day.
Judge was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts, dropping his series total to 0 for 8 with seven strikeouts and a walk. In three playoff series against Cleveland, he is 2 for 37 with 27 strikeouts, including all four of his playoffs games with four strikeouts.
He was booed by several spectators in the sellout crowd of 47,355 after whiffing against Stephan in the seventh. He had just broken the AL record for home runs with 62.
The first early afternoon postseason game in the Bronx since Game 2 of the 2006 Division Series versus Detroit began at 1:08 p.m. On a clear afternoon in the middle innings, shadows crept across the field from the first-base side, evoking memories of numerous World Series games played at the original Yankee Stadium in the 1940s and 1950s.
Giancarlo Stanton’s 10th home run in 20 postseason games came in the first inning off Shane Bieber, winner of the 2020 AL Cy Young Award.
Andrés Giménez’s RBI single in the fourth inning and Amed Rosario’s home run into the Yankees bullpen in the fifth inning gave Cleveland a tie against All-Star Nestor Cortes.
On Myles Straw’s two-out, one-hop smash in the fourth, Cortes made an incredible leap and nimble throw to first while seated. This prevented two runs from scoring. Cortes struck the mound with his head toward first, falling off the third-base side and extending his glove hand to snare the ball. With one hop, he threw the ball to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who scooped it up for the out.
Following Cortes, Lou Trivino, Jonathan Loisiga, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes combined for four innings of hitless pitching.
Ramirez hit a fastball that rookie left fielder Oswaldo Cabrera narrowly missed as third baseman Josh Donaldson, with his back to the plate, pulled up to avoid a collision as Jameson Taillon made his first big league relief appearance after 143 starts. Ramirez sprinted all the way to third while Donaldson misplayed the ball by firing it beyond second.
Gonzalez fought off an outside curve and crushed a 59 mph ball that traveled 164 feet and landed halfway between right fielder Aaron Judge and second baseman Gleyber Torres to seal a first-round sweep of Tampa Bay on Saturday. In right-center, Naylor added an RBI double that took a hop off the wall.
Clase made 33 pitches in all, 10 more than his previous high. After coming in in the eighth inning after Karinchak walked with the bases loaded, he struck out Kyle Higashioka with a lineout to Ramirez at third to end the inning.
In a tense, 4-hour, 10-minute marathon, New York managed just six hits and went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.