Ellsbury, Yankees edge Indians in 14 innings, 5-4
Tribe bats go cold late; Pestano serves up the game's deciding hit
CLEVELAND—Jacoby Ellsbury decided 14 innings was long enough.
Tied at four with two outs, the Yankees center fielder went deep off Tribe reliever Vinnie Pestano (0-1, 5.40 ERA) for the game-winning homer Wednesday, as New York edged the Indians, 5-4.
“I was trying to back-foot a slider, it just didn’t get it there,” Pestano said. “When you throw a pitch like that to a hitter like that, you need to get it down. I just need to learn from it and put it in the memory bank.”
Bouncing between the big leagues and Triple-A Columbus this season, it was the first home run the right-hander has allowed since April 8.
“Lefties have always seen me better throughout my whole career,” Pestano said. “It’s just one of those things. I had him 0-2 and was in control of the at-bat, and I just made a mistake and he hit it out.”
“We’re trying to use him against as many righties as we can,” manager Terry Francona said. “But when you get in a game like this, you can’t really pick and choose too much.”
Offensively, Tribe bats chose the first inning right out of the gate, striking for three runs against Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy. Loading up the bases with one out after a throwing error by Mark Teixeira and hits by Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall drove in his 40th run on an RBI groundout.
One batter later, Nick Swisher capitalized by knocking a two-run single into right field giving the Indians a three run lead.
Struggling all season long, Swisher has hit .276 (8-for-29) with two homers and nine RBI over his last eight games.
But, Teixeira’s bat quickly make up for his lack of defense.
The Yankees first baseman yanked a solo homer off Tribe starter Josh Tomlin in the fourth inning, and added another two-run bomb in the fifth to put New York up, 4-3.
“I left two pitches that were kind of over the middle of the plate, and that’s what he did with it,” Tomlin said. “I felt good. I just made a few mistakes to one hitter and paid for it.”
Despite the homers by Teixeira, Tomlin looked solid, allowing four runs on eight hits over seven innings of work.
Making his first appearance in pinstripes since being traded from Arizona, McCarthy on the other side went 6 2/3 innings giving up four runs (one earned) on nine hits.
“I thought McCarthy kind of reeled it back in pretty good after the first inning,” Francona said. “He started pitching a lot better.”
Scoring four runs on eight hits through the first five frames, the Wahoos were shutout by a tough Yankee bullpen on just three hits over the final 7 1/3 innings.
The Tribe bullpen also put in the work, logging a scoreless 6 2/3 innings before Pestano served up the long ball. Ellsbury’s 19th homer of the season also snapped an 18 inning scoreless streak by the Indians ‘pen, dating back to July 4.
“They’ve been doing it all year from what I’ve seen and they kept us in the game,” Tomlin said. “It was a long game and those guys battled their butts off, unfortunately we came up short tonight.”
Indians hitters had two big chances to cash in with a potential walk-off late. First in the 10th, loading up the bases on three straight walks by David Huff with one out. And second, having the tying run on second in the 14th inning with two outs as Brantley flew out to deep left to end the ballgame.
Despite banging out 10 hits for the fourth time in their last five games, Cleveland (44-46) falls to 7.5 games behind first place Detroit in the American League Central.
Up next for Indians: Southpaw T.J. House (1-2, 4.24 ERA) makes his eighth start for Cleveland in the series finale against the Yankees on Thursday. New York will counter with right-hander David Phelps (3-4, 4.01 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Both teams squandered scoring chances in the 10th. Cody Allen struck out Ichiro Suzuki with two on to end the top of the inning. David Huff then walked the bases loaded with one out, but Shawn Kelley struck out Swisher and retired David Murphy on a groundout.
Huff walk three batters in bottom of the 10th inning. Checked the play-by play box. Huff was brought in to face Brantley, Santana, and Chisenhall.
How these three (when Bourn returns, that is), as well as Cabrera and Murphy, perform over these next few weeks is going to largely determine whether the Indians are buyers for 2014 or sellers for 2015. You know what you're going to get with Brantley, Santana, Chisenhall, and Gomes- the other five have got to start showing some consistent offense and even some sustained hot streaks to take advantage of the largely solid pitching the Indians have gotten from the rotation, and of late, even the bullpen. Even Axford was solid last night, and Pestano had been up until last night. It's do-or-die time for the Indians NOW- time to step it up or fall back for 2015. Will be interesting to see what takes place these next few weeks.
When you are up 3-0 in 1st inning and you let the pitcher off the hook, you are asking for trouble. McCarthy found his grove after the 1st.
Giving up 2 hrs when you are ahead in count 0-2.
Not taking advantage of the gift that former Indian David Huff set up for you in bottom of the 10th by walking 3 consecutive batters.
Everyone in house knew what Swisher was going to do with that gift by being giving it back by not putting the ball in play. Gave his typical strikeout in a key situation.