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Yan Gomes drove in the winning run for the Cleveland Indians with a base hit down the third base line, scoring Austin Jackson from second for a 9-8 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-0 ALDS lead. Check out the box score here and read on for a recap.
Gomes was crucial to keeping the Indians alive in the 11th inning by throwing out pinch runner Ronald Torreyes at second base on a pickoff move. Prior to that throw, the Yankees had the go-ahead run in scoring position with nobody out and the Indians going deep into their bullpen. However, a key throw from Gomes and a well-timed Cleveland challenge erased Torreyes and kept the Indians in position to pull off their biggest comeback win in franchise history.
The Indians overcame a disastrous start from ace Corey Kluber, who didn’t make it out of the third inning, leaving Cleveland in a 6-3 hole. The Indians trailed by as many as five runs, and Gomes’ hit capped off the biggest comeback in Cleveland playoff history.
Cleveland got back in the game in the sixth inning when a pitch that hit Lonnie Chisenhall’s bat — which would have been an inning-ending strikeout on a caught foul tip — was erroneously ruled a hit by pitch. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the Yankees did not challenge the Chisenhall hit by pitch because they had no indication that anything was amiss and he didn’t want to disrupt pitcher Chad Green’s rhythm.
The mistake loaded the bases for Francisco Lindor, who pulled the Indians within a run with one swing.
The Indians set up the game-winning run when Jackson worked out a walk and stole second base, giving Gomes a chance against Dellin Betances in his third inning of work. Gomes pulled a pitch down the left field line and into the corner, scoring Jackson and making a winner out of Josh Tomlin, a usual starter who came into the game in the 12th inning. Tomlin was the eighth pitcher the Indians used in the win. In addition to getting a poor outing from Kluber, the Indians also lost Edwin Encarnacion to an injury in the first inning.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said that Encarnacion had an MRI and is day-to-day for the time being. Game 3 will be played Sunday in New York, with the Yankees now facing a must-win situation after coughing up the lead over the final four innings.