The New York Yankees, with their backs against the wall, took Game 4 from the Cleveland Guardians, 4-2, to force a decisive Game 5 in the ALDS.
The series moves back to the Bronx on Monday night, where it will be all hands on deck for both teams, as Aaron Civale and Jameson Taillon are expected to pitch “bullpen games.”
The Yankees got the scoring started early in this one, as Anthony Rizzo singled home Gleyber Torres, who also singled as the first batter of the game. He stole second as Aaron Judge struck out to put himself in the position to score.
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Then, Harrison Bader went yard for his third home run of the postseason, smashing a two-run bomb to the left center field seats to make it a 3-0 game.
But, as fans have seen throughout this series, it doesn’t matter what the score is. The Guardians are going to fight.
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They got on the scoreboard with yet another bloop hit off the bat of Jose Ramirez, who will continue to take them as they come. After it fell into no man’s land, Steven Kwan made his way home, but Ramirez was thrown out at first after coming off the bag too much to end the inning.
The next run was scored by Josh Naylor, who made a statement when he smashed a solo homer to right center field. As he ran around the bases, Naylor did the “rock the baby” celebration as he stared down his dugout on his way to home plate. That made the game 3-2 with the momentum going in the Guardians’ favor.
But the Yankees were able to tack on one more run, with Giancarlo Stanton piecing a ball to left-center field, but Kwan tracked it down for a sacrifice fly instead of a two-RBI hit.
Cole would leave the game after 110 pitches and seven innings of work, giving up two earned runs while striking out eight Guardians and walking just one.
Clay Holmes would get the eighth inning, and though he walked Kwan, he was able to strikeout Amed Rosario – a good frame by Jose Trevino had home plate Will Little call him out despite the pitch being low – and Ramirez to end the frame.
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Wandy Peralta, after throwing 42 pitches between the games on Friday and Saturday, threw just seven pitches to get through Naylor, Oscar Gonzalez, and Andres Gimenez to end the game.
On the Guardians’ side of the mound, Cal Quantrill got the start and lasted just five innings after giving up three earned runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking one.
Cody Morris also gave the Guardians two solid innings of relief, not allowing a hit in the seventh and eighth innings while striking out three.
The Guardians also kept themselves in the game with exceptional defensive play in the infield, including diving play from Ramirez with runners on first and second that resulted in an inning-ending double play to avoid more runs coming across in the top of the fifth inning.
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Game 5 will kick off at 7:07 p.m. ET first pitch.