Gerrit Cole Grits Yankees to 4-2 Game 4 Win, Forces Game 5 vs. Guardians
Cleveland Guardians designated hitter Josh Naylor may have tagged a solo home run off Gerrit Cole and made a baby-rocking gesture in his direction, but it was the New York Yankees ace who had the last laugh Sunday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland, as the Yankees won game four of the American League Division Series 4-2, forcing a game five in New York for Monday.
Cole churned in an old school pitching performance, gritting through seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out eight, over 110 pitches. Managers have a tendency to remove their starting pitcher before they face an opposing lineup again. However, Aaron Boone believed in his ace and didn’t let Cole or the Guardians’ position in the lineup stop him from riding his starter as long as possible.
The Yankees led 4-2 at the end of the seventh. Cole gave up Andres Gimenez a single. The Guardians were in danger with the tying run at first base and one out.
With Cole’s pitch count running into the 100s, he struck out rookies Gabriel Arias and Will Brennan to end the inning, escaping with no damage.
After Boone opted not to use relief pitcher Clay Holmes in Saturday night’s loss, Boone gave the ball to Holmes who delivered a clean eighth inning, walking one and striking out two. In the ninth inning, Boone called upon Wandy Peralta to take over the ball. He retired the Guardians on seven pitches, to seal a 4-2 win for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees scored their runs with an Anthony Rizzo RBI single in the first inning, a Harrison Bader two-run homer in the second inning and a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
The Yankees will play game five against the Guardians on Monday night to ensure a trip for the American League Championship Series. The winner will face off against the Houston Astros in Wednesday’s ALCS. The Yankees will start Jameson Taillon, with their season in the balance. The Guardians are expected to
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