It’s Gleyber’s turn to play hero as Yankees pull off another stunner
Domingo German did more than enough to stay in the Yankees’ rotation and hopefully mute the nonsensical noise that Matt Harvey is needed in The Bronx.
Across six innings German’s performance in place of Jordan Montgomery appeared to be the lone Yankees bright spot, but that changed when the Yankees scored three runs against Indians closer Cody Allen in the eighth to cut the lead to a run and then tied the score in the ninth.
German didn’t allow a hit or run, but until the next to last inning the Yankees’ bats were muzzled by Mike Clevinger. Dellin Betances was responsible for the no-hitter and shutout vanishing in the eighth inning, but consecutive doubles by Aaron Hicks and Neil Walker tied the score to start the ninth and rescued Betances from a loss.
Dan Otero replaced Allen and retired Miguel Andujar on a grounder to the left side and intentionally walked pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton to face Gleyber Torres, who was 0-for-3.
With a 3-2 count Torres sent the ball over the center-field fence for a three-run homer and a 7-4 victory witnessed by 40,107.
The Yankees’ win streak stretched to six games and it was their 15th in 16 games.
When the Yankees opened a three-game series in Anaheim on April 27, it marked a stretch of 13 games against the Angels, Astros, Indians and Red Sox that was viewed as a test to see how well they would stand up to the AL’s elite. With three games remaining versus their blood rivals starting Tuesday at the Stadium, the Yankees are 9-1 against those forst three opponents.
When Clevinger walked Walker and Tyler Austin in the eighth, Allen surfaced from the pen and retired Torres for the second out. Brett Gardner singled in a run and Aaron Judge’s two-run double cut the deficit to 4-3. Allen walked Didi Gregorius intentionally with the count 2-0 and retired Gary Sanchez on a routine fly to center.
After German threw six no-hit innings and Betances worked a perfect seventh, Yonder Alonso opened the eighth against Betances by fighting out of a 0-2 hole to produce a ground single to center for the Indians’ first hit of the game.
Yan Gomes followed with a single to center which brought Tyler Naquin to the plate in a bunting situation. With the count, 2-0, Betances threw a strike but pinch-runner Rajai Davis stole third. Naquin then singled to center to score Davis with the game’s first run.
Aaron Boone, who wanted to avoid using David Robertson and Chad Green, called for Jonathan Holder to face Greg Allen, the No. 9 hitter. Allen popped up a bunt to Sanchez for the first out and Francisco Lindor’s soft double to right scored Gomes for a 2-0 lead. Since an infield fly rule can’t be called on a bunt had Sanchez allowed the ball to drop he would have had a chance at a triple play.
Holder worked to Jason Kipnis with the infield in and runners on second and third. A passed ball charged to Sanchez scored Naquin and moved Lindor to third. He made it home easily on Jason Kipnis’ fly to left for a 4-0 lead.
German more than fulfilled Boone’s wishes for what he hoped to get from the right-hander in his first big-league start by not only shutting the Indians out but keeping them without a hit through six innings when he walked two and struck out nine.
“We are hoping he gets us to the middle innings,’’ Boone said before the game. “I am confident he is going to out and give us some quality innings. He has handled himself in some important situations. His stuff plays to both right- and left-handed hitters. I am confident he is going to go out there and be on the attack right away and give us a quality outing.’’
German did that and a lot more since the only two Indians to reach base were Jose Ramirez (fourth inning) and Edwin Encarnacion (fifth) via walks.
Torres made two sensational plays at second base to keep the no-hit bid alive. He ranged toward second base to rob Michael Brantley of a single in the second inning and to his left to deny Naquin a single in the fifth with a sliding grab and strong throw.
With German’s pitch count at 84 Boone decided that was enough and summoned Betances. He struck out the first two Indians and then watched shortstop Didi Gregorius go into the hole to field Encarnacion’s grounder and fire to first for the third out.
The Yankees didn’t have a hit off Clevinger until Aaron Hicks singled up the middle to start the fifth. When Clevinger walked Walker the Yankees had runners on first and second and no outs. However, Miguel Andujar’s grounder toward the middle of the infield was swallowed by shortstop Francisco Lindor and turned into a 6-3 double play that moved Hicks to third. That’s where he stayed when Austin struck out.
Prior to Hicks’ single the only Yankees baserunner was Gregorius, who reached second when first baseman Alonso failed to field a ground ball over the first base bag in the fourth. Clevinger left Gregorius on second by fanning Hicks.
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