There was no ninth-inning comeback this time around as Wandy Peralta sealed a 4-2 Game win for the Yankees and sent the best-of-5 American League Division Series with the Guardians back to New York for a deciding Game 5.
The Yanks scored three runs through the first two innings and scored an insurance run in the sixth as Gerrit Cole went seven innings and struck out eight batters in his second win of the postseason. The Bombers now have a chance to punch their ticket to the championship series with a win on Monday after falling behind 2-1 in the series.
New York is now 14-9 in potential elimination games in the ALDS and 6-6 in that spot while on the road.
Harrison Bader hit his third home run of the postseason while Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton drove in the Yankees’ two other runs on the night. Clay Holmes, who had been held out of Game 3, pitched in the eighth without giving up a run and Wandy Peralta picked up the save in a seven-pitch ninth.
For all the concern around Gerrit Cole this postseason, he has answered the bell in both starts for the Yankees. At one point on Sunday, Cole retired 10 straight batters in his second playoff start.
It was Rizzo’s line drive to center field that started off the Yankees’ night on the board. Stanton had singled to start the game and stole second base before the RBI hit from the New York first baseman.
Bader extended the Yankees’ lead to three in the second inning when he got a hold of a first-pitch cutter and sent it into the center field stands to make it a 3-0 ballgame. However, things got close in the bottom of the fourth after the Guardians had cut the lead to 3-1 in the third.
Josh Naylor took a 2-2 pitch and sent it into the crowd in center to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2.
The Yankees managed to manufacture another run in the sixth after Aaron Judge reached base on the first at-bat of the inning and Rizzo drove one to left field. Stanton flew out to left fielder Steven Kwan, but the ball was deep enough that it allowed Judge to score and make it a two-run ballgame.
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Now that the series shifts back to New York for Game 5, the Yankees will tap on Jameson Taillon to throw Game 5. Taillon has appeared in three career starts against the Guardians and has a 3.94 ERA, giving up 19 hits and seven runs.
The Game 5 starts has struck out 16 batters while only walking one and allowing seven runs.