In what can only be described as pure bedlam, the Indians somehow pulled out a wild, back-and-forth thrilling 9-8 win in 13 innings over the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Division Series Friday night at Progressive Field.
Ace Corey Kluber was rocked and couldn't get out of the third inning, Edwin Encarnacion left the game in the second inning with an injury and the Indians at one point trailed, 8-3. Seemingly headed for a momentum-shifting loss that would have evened the series, the Indians came charging back with two mammoth home runs and the eventual game-winner against the Yankees bullpen, which stretched the game to the 13th.
It gave the Indians a commanding 2-0 ALDS lead as the series turns to Yankee Stadium for Game 3 Sunday night.
Trailing 8-3 in the sixth and with Chad Green on the mound, the Indians loaded the bases for the third time Friday night..
With two outs and Green nearly out of the inning, Francisco Lindor got ahold of the next offering and sent it down the right-field line. As it trailed, it clanged against the right-field foul pole for a grand slam, cutting the Yankees' lead to 8-7 and sending Progressive Field into bedlam.
Two innings later, with David Robertson on the mound, Jay Bruce burned the Yankees for the second consecutive night, belting a solo home run to left-center field to tie it at 8.
As the comeback mounted, Bryan Shaw threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings and Andrew Miller, Joe Smith, Cody Allen and Josh Tomlin did the rest to hold the Yankees down and extend the game into extra innings. Friday's game ranged long enough that the Indians had to turn to Joh Tomlin, their slated Game 4 starter, in the 12th inning.
In the 10th, though, it was Yan Gomes that came away with a superb play to keep it tied. An error on Erik Gonzalez put the go-ahead run in scoring position with nobody out. Gomes, on a pickoff snap throw from the plate, nabbed Ronald Torreyes at second base to erase the potential go-ahead run.
The Indians finished it in the 13th as the marathon game passed the five-hour mark. With Dellin Betances on the mound, Austin Jackson drew a walk and then stole second base, putting the winning run in scoring position with nobody out. Gomes followed by ripping a ball down the left-field line to win it in walk-off fashion, capping one of the most memorable games in Indians postseason history.
One night after Trevor Bauer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in the Indians' shutout win in Game 1, Kluber was unexpectedly roughed up to the tune of six earned runs in only 2 2/3 innings. It represented more earned runs than he had given up in the month of September combined, and it was only one run shy of how many he gave up in last year's postseason.
It didn't take long for the Yankees to strike. Kluber struggled with his command in the first inning, walking Aaron Judge and then falling behind Gary Sanchez, 3-1. The next offering was crushed for a two-run home run to put the Yankees on top.
The Indians effectively wiped out that home run in the bottom half of the inning, but it might have come at a great cost affecting much more than just Game 2. An error, a walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out against Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia. Carlos Santana lined a single into left-center field to tie it, in part thanks to a head-first slide by Jose Ramirez to beat the throw home.
Jay Bruce lined a ball to shortstop Didi Gregorius, which was caught for the second out. Gregorius raced Encarnacion back to the bag, as he was caught a bit to far down the line. As Encarnacion attempted to step on the bag he came up a bit short and badly turned his ankle. He was down on the ground for several moments grimacing in pain before being helped off the field. It was announced as a sprained ankle, though he will have to be evaluated further.
The Indians retook the lead in the second inning after loading the bases yet again. This time, Jason Kipnis shot a ball into left field to score Austin Jackson and give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
The Yankees, though, continued to pour it on. Starlin Castro in the top of the third singled home a run to tie it at 3 and two batters later, Aaron Hicks belted a three-run home run to put the Yankees on top 6-3, end Kluber's night and stun the home crowd. Greg Bird added a two-run home run off Mike Clevinger in the fifth, extending the Yankees lead to 8-3.
That, though, only set the stage for Lindor's grand slam, Bruce's solo shot and Gomes' game winner to pull off the wild comeback.