The New York Yankees are heading to the American League Divisional Series following a wild 10-9 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The night got off to a rocky start. Following a near hour long rain delay after Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st inning. The game would be delayed yet again, this time for about 30 minutes. Tanaka took the mound again and the Indians scored another 3 runs.
Fortunately, Tanaka found a little rhythm and allowed the Yankees to fight back. Giancarlo Stanton got the Yankees on the board with a 2nd inning solo home run. Then in the 4th inning, Gio Urshela hit a towering 432 foot grand slam to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
With the Yankees up 6-4 in the 5th, it was Cleveland’s turn to fight back. Jose Ramirez tied the game with a 2 run double against relief pitcher Chad Green. The Yankees took the lead right back in the top of the 6th when Gary Sanchez hit a 2 run home run after a lead off walk by Brett Gardner.
In the bottom of the 7th, with 2 outs and the bases empty, Cleveland fought back again. Zack Britton walked 2 batters and Aaron Boone replaced him with Jonathan Loaisiga. The Indians countered by pinch hitting for their hottest hitter, Josh Naylor with Jordan Luplow. The gutsy call proved to be a good one as Luplow doubled in the tying runs. Cleveland then took a 9-8 lead in the 8th on a Cesar Hernandez single against Aroldis Chapman. Gio Urshela made another highlight play, this time with his glove. He made an incredible diving stop on a Carlos Santana grounder which he then turned into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play.
The Yankees needed to rally against Indians’ closer Brad Hand. They eventually loaded the bases, and with 1 out, Gary Sanchez knocked in the tying run on a sacrifice fly. On the next at bat, DJ LeMahieu hit a slow roller through the middle to give the Yankees a 10-9 lead. Aroldis Chapman would strike out 3 in the bottom of the 9th and the Yankees completed the sweep.
The 4 hour and 50 minute game was recorded as the longest 9 inning game in MLB history.
The Yankees will take on the AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS starting Monday night.
(Photo: David Dermer/Associated Press)