McCoy: Guardians even series with extra-inning win over Yankees

The Cleveland Guardians, known as a pitch-and-putt team all season, small ball, put it on display Friday afternoon in Yankee Stadium.

And it most likely saved their season, at least temporarily.

The Guardians used two bloop hits in the 10th inning to take a breath-holding 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees to level the American League Division Series at one game apiece.

And the momentum swings their way with the next two games at home in Progressive


Jose Ramirez opened the 10th with a shallow rainbow to left field that nestled in the grass. Ramirez, running out of the box at warp speed, bolted into second. And when third baseman Josh Donaldson threw the ball wildly toward second, Ramirez ended up on third on a ball that traveled about 120 feet.

Oscar Gonzales followed with another ball into no-man’s land, a blooper just out of the reach of the second baseman, first baseman and right fielder, a run-scoring single to break a 2-2 tie. Josh Naylor followed with a legitimate hit, a hard double up the right center gap for another run.

The two teams spent most of the long afternoon littering the basepaths with stranded runners.

In the first six innings, both teams had runners on base in five of the innings. But they scored only two each.

The Yankees scored their two runs in the first inning against Cleveland starter Shane Bieber. And they came with two outs on nobody on.

Gleyber Torres punched an opposite field single to right field, bringing up Giancarlo Stanton.

On a 3-and-1 pitch, the home-plate umpire called strike two on a pitch far outside. Stanton was demonstrative in protest.

He should have thanked the umpire because he drove the next pitch over the short porch right field wall, a two-run home run. It was Stanton’s 10th home run in 20 post-season games.

The Guardians cut the margin to 2-1 in the fourth against New York starter Nestor Cortes. With two outs and nobody on, Josh Naylor beat out an infield hit, Owen Miller walked on four pitches and Andres Gimenez singled for a run. That ended a streak of 0 for 14 for the Guardians with runners in scoring position this post-season.

Cleveland tied it in the fifth when Amed Rosario crushed a one-out home run 416 feet into the Yankees bullpen.

And that ended the scoring through the regulation nine innings.

The Guardians put their first two men on base in the first, a surprise bunt for a hit by leadoff batter Steven Kwan and a single by Rosario. But the inning ended when Oscar Gonzalez lined into an inning-ending double play to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

They had a leadoff walk in the third and didn’t score. After Rosario’s homer in the fifth, they had a runner on first but didn’t score.

They had a runner on second in the sixth but didn’t score. They had two on in the ninth but didn’t score.

The Yankees were just as frustrated. After Stanton’s homer in the first, they didn’t score.

They had a runner on second in the second and didn’t score. They had two on in the third and didn’t score when left fielder Kwan made a diving catch on Josh Donaldson.

They had a runner on first in the fifth and didn’t score. They had two on in the sixth and didn’t score.

They then went on a streak of striking out eight straight times, although they loaded the baes in the eighth when relief pitcher James Karinchak walked three.

But they didn’t score. Emmanuel Clase came on to retired Kyle Higashioka’s liner to third.

They had a runner on first in the ninth but didn’t score.

After Cleveland took the 4-2 lead, Clase walked Donaldson with one out in the bottom of the 10th. But Clase retired the final two on a harmless fly ball and an equally harmless ground ball to end it.

For the game, the Yankees struck out 15 times, left 11 on base and were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

Aaron Judge, who hit 62 home runs during the regular season, struck out four times. In two games, he is 0 for 8 with seven strikeouts and a walk.

It is reminiscent of his rookie season in 2017, also against Cleveland, when he went 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts in a post-season series.

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