The American League Division Series between the Yankees and Cleveland Guardians will shift to Cleveland with things all tied up.
The Guardians evened the best-of-five series with a 4-2 Game 2 win over the Yankees on Friday in the Bronx. Cleveland was able to break a 2-2 stalemate in the 10th inning and the Yankees never found a way to respond.
“You know, that’s a good team over there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They have got their ace on the mound today on a day where it’s tough to hit. They run good guys out of the pen. So we just couldn’t break through today. We never thought this was going to be easy. You know, we’ll get on that plane and go and try and grab one tomorrow. So, nothing changes for us.
“We never expected any of this this time of year to be easy, and nothing’s been easy for us this year, especially in the second half of the season.”
The Guardians opened the 10th with Jose Ramirez hitting a blooper to left field. Josh Donaldson picked up the ball and heaved it to second to try and get Ramirez out, but the throw was off target and allowed the Cleveland third baseman to get all the way to third.
Oscar Gonzalez signed in the next at-bat, which allowed Ramirez to score and broke the 2-2 tie. Josh Naylor hit a double to center field and drove home the inning’s second run to extend the Guardians’ lead to 4-2.
“I think it would have been bang-bang even if I made a really good throw,” Donaldson said about the play that put Ramirez in scoring position. “In the moment I thought I had a chance, but I didn’t make a great throw and at the end of the day I was trying to make a play. And I’ll live with that.”
Jameson Taillon, who has traditionally been a starter, made his career relief appearance in the 10th when the Guardians broke open the game. He allowed the two runs on three hits before he was pulled from the game for Clarke Schmidt, who got the Yankees out of the inning without any further bleeding.
The series will now turn to Cleveland after starting in the Bronx for Game 1 and Game 2. The next two games will take place at Progressive Field before returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 5 if necessary.
Starter Nestor Cortes threw five innings in his first playoff start and struck out three while allowing two runs on six hits. He also walked three batters.
“I think I had more in me. Two runs in five innings, I kept them in the game but I think I should have been better,” Cortes said. “We’re going (to Cleveland) now, it’s basically a two out of three now over there. We’re going to come back and we’re going to punch back. I think we’re going to be good.”
The bullpen held its own up until Taillon entered in the 10th. New York as manager Aaron Boone turned to his bullpen in the sixth inning as Lou Trivino, Jonathan Loáisiga, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes threw a combined four innings without a hit and struck out five.
The Yankees jumped to an early lead on Friday afternoon after Gleybor Torres got a two-out single to keep things going in the bottom of the first. That allowed Giancarlo Stanton to send a 3-2 pitching into the short porch in right field for the 2-0 lead.
The go-ahead blast had come just after home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak called a pitch that had clearly missed the zone a strike and irritated Stanton. After visibly showing frustration with the call, Stanton stepped back into the box and hit the two-run shot.
The game would remain that way until the top of the fourth when Cleveland put their first run on the board. Josh Naylor singled and Owen Miller walked to bring up Andres Gimenez, who singled on a liner to right field which scored Naylor.
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Cortes managed to get out of the inning without any further issues thanks to an athletic play. Myles Straw hit a grounder that took a hop that looked like it would go over the Yankees’ starter’s head, but Cortes reached and grabbed it to make the play at first.
However, the Guardians would tie the game in the fifth after Amed Rosario hit a 1-0 fastball to deep center for a solo home run.