CLEVELAND: The Indians fought back from an early deficit to tie the score but ultimately lost to the New York Yankees 5-4 on a two-error disaster of a play Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Progressive Field
With the scored tied 4-4 in the seventh inning, Yankees catcher Austin Romine lined a ball into the gap in right-center field. Indians right fielder Brandon Guyer had trouble picking up the ball after it bounced off the wall for the first error on the play. Romine was able to advance to third base and second baseman Erik Gonzalez’s relay throw to third bounced off Romine and past third baseman Jose Ramirez. Pitcher It also got past pitcher Mike Clevinger, who was backing up the throw, and went into the Indians dugout. Gonzalez was charged with an error on the throw and Romine was awarded home for the go-ahead run.
The Indians couldn’t punch back against the Yankees’ bullpen, but there was a surprise announcement in the bottom of the ninth.
Facing Aroldis Chapman with the tying run on first and one out, Yan Gomes was announced as an All-Star selection as he walked up to the plate and received a standing ovation. Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos sustained a hamstring injury on Saturday and would be no longer available to play in the All-Star Game, which opened up a spot for Gomes.
Gomes, though, struck out for the second out and Rajai Davis popped out to shallow right field to end it.
The first three Yankees to come to the plate scored in a disastrous start for Clevinger. Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk, Aaron Judge singled to left and Didi Gregorius, who has tormented the Indians’ pitching staff since last October, belted a three-run home run to center field.
The Indians chipped away against Yankees starter and former Indians ace CC Sabathia. Ramirez launched a solo home run to left field, his 29th of the season, in the first inning. That tied him with Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez for the major-league lead and tied his own season high. It also is just the fourth time in baseball history that a switch-hitter has hit 29 home runs prior to the All-Star break, with Ramirez joining Mickey Mantle (1956, 1961) and Lance Berkman (2002).
In the third, Gonzalez singled, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and then scored on a ground ball to first baseman Greg Bird off the bat of Michael Brantley, cutting the Yankees’ lead to 3-2.
Bird answered in the top of the sixth with a solo home run to right field on a fastball that found the middle of the plate. In the bottom half of the inning, the Indians finally tied it.
Brantley singled and Ramirez walked to put two runners on with one out. After a groundout moved both into scoring position, Brandon Guyer grounded a ball to third baseman Miguel Andujar. Guyer was safe at first to keep the inning alive, allowing Brantley to score easily. But as Andujar’s less-than-perfect throw sailed toward first, Ramirez made the turn at third and headed for home, just beating Bird’s throw from first with a slide to tie it 4-4.