Saturday, July 9, 2016

Yanks Pull Out Dramatic 11 Inning Win Over Tribe, 7-6

 With the series tied at a game apiece, the New York Yankees and the Cleaveland Indians squared off in game three of the four games set. On the mound for New York this afternoon was former Indian C.C. Sabathia, sporting a 5-6 record with a 3.48 ERA. The Indians countered with their best starter of 2016, All-Star right-hander Danny Salazar. Salazar has been incredible this season, going 10-3 with a glistening 2.36 ERA this season. But, neither starter would factor into the final decision in this extremely entertaining back and forth contest.

After Salazar held the Yankees scoreless in the top of the first, the Indians manufactured a run to break open the scoring this afternoon. Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch to lead off the first and advanced to second on a bunt by the next batter Jason Kipnis. Davis then stole third, Napoli walked and Carlos Santana smacked a single into right field that scored Davis and gave the Indians a one run advantage.

The Yankees waited a couple of innings but came back in a big way against Salazar. In the top of the third, Brett Gardner doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third when the next batter Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out. The 2016 All-Star Carlos Beltran then lined a single into right that scored Gardner, tying the game at one. The All-Star snub Didi Gregorius then took a Danny Salazar first-pitch fastball into the right field seats, scoring Beltran and giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

The Cleveland Indians would not be leading the AL Central without the ability to hit in the clutch, and that's exactly what they did in the bottom of the third to retake the lead. With one out, Jason Kipnis walked and advanced to third on a single by the next batter Francisco Lindor. Mike Napoli pulled the Indians to within one when he knocked a single into left that scored Kipnis. The next batter Carlos Santana launched a double over the glove of Aaron Hicks that scored Kipnis and advanced Napoli to third, tying the game at three. Jose Ramirez then gave the Indians the lead when he hit a single to right that scored Napoli, 4-3.

And it was Jose Ramirez again who added some much-needed insurance for Cleveland, coming in the bottom of the fifth. Francisco Lindor led off the frame with a ringing double to left, advancing to third on a ground out by Mike Napoli.  With two outs, Jose Ramirez hit an infield single that scored Lindor and extended the Indian lead to 5-3.

A huge two-out rally by the Yankees in the top of the sixth led to the departure of Danny Salazar as the Bombers came back to retake the lead. Chase Headley and Rob Refsnyder hit back to back singles to start the rally. Pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez then walked to load the bases, forcing Salazar from the game while being responsible for all three baserunners.  Dan Otero came on in relief of the righty and instantly served up a bases clearing triple to Brett Gardner that put the Yankees back on top by a 6-5 score.

Delin Betances came on in relief of Sabathia to record the final out of the sixth before allowing the Indians to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Jason Kipnis led off the seventh with a double, advancing to third when the next batter Francisco Lindor grounded out. After Mike Napoli walked and Carlos Santana struck out, the big Yankee killer of the day Jose Ramirez struck again, dumping a two-out two-strike curveball into right field that scored Kipnis and tied the game at six. The big Yankee hero of the day Didi Gregorius made an unbelievable diving play to force Ramirez at second to end the frame, keeping the game tied at six.

All three members of No Runs DMC were asked to throw more than an inning today as the game headed into extra frames, but not without some controversy. After Miller pitched a scoreless eighth, Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli had two exceptional at-bats off the All-Star lefty that resulted in a Lindor single and a Napoli walk. The next batter Carlos Santana hit a slow ground ball between third and short that saw Lindor run into Chase Headley as he attempted to field the ball. Much to the chagrin of Terry Francona and Indians fans everywhere, Lindor was called out on runner's interference as the first out of the ninth. Miller got Ramirez to strike out and was then lifted for the closer Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban Missile got Juan Uribe to strike out in a dramatic six pitch at-bat, sending the game into the tenth.

The Pinstripers took a page out of the Indians clutch-hitting book as they took the lead in the top of the eleventh inning. With two outs, Carlos Beltran lined a single off of Tommy Hunter that went just beyond the outstretched glove of Jason Kipnis. Ronald Torreyes was called on to pinch run for Beltran and came around to score when the next batter Brian McCann ripped a double over the head of Abraham Almonte, giving the Yankees a late 7-6 lead.

Chapman came back out to close out the game and did so in dramatic fashion. After Jason Kipnis led off the frame with a walk, Chapman got Lindor to fly out to right and then picked off Kipnis trying to steal second base for a HUGE out number two. The lefty fireballer then got Napali to strike out to end the game, pulling New York once again back to within a game of .500.

Masahiro tanaka and the New York Yankees will try to get back to the .500 Mark tomorrow in the final game before the All-Star break. If they fall tomorrow. With a loss, It would be the first time in 21 years that the Yankees would go into the All-Star break under .500. Here's to hoping for a big W, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.


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