CLEVELAND (AP) After a bizarre start and white-knuckle finish, Yankees manager Aaron Boone finally allowed himself to smile.
"A really good gutsy win right there,” Boone said.
He watched most of it on TV.
Oswaldo Cabrera hit a tiebreaking, two-out double in the ninth inning off Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase and New York overcame Boone's first-inning ejection and a rough outing by closer Clay Holmes for a 4-3 win over the Guardians on Wednesday.
Cabrera's shot to right off Clase (1-1) scored Giancarlo Stanton, who reached on an infield single with one out and went to second when shortstop Amed Rosario's throw skipped into the photographer's pit.
Holmes made things interesting in the ninth by loading the bases on a hit batter and two walks before striking out Rosario for his fourth save. Wandy Peralta (1-0) pitched a hitless eighth for the victory, giving the Yankees their fourth straight series win.
The series finale included Boone being tossed in the first inning following a confusing and controversial play, and second base umpire Larry Vanover getting struck in the face by a relay throw in the fifth.
Vanover was taken to the Cleveland Clinic, where he was being checked for a concussion and other injuries.
Franchy Cordero homered again for the Yankees, his fourth of the season tying it 3-3 in the seventh. Cordero, who spent last season with Boston, was signed by New York at the end of March after Baltimore released him.
Cordero has driven in 11 runs in his first seven games with New York, the first player to do that since RBIs became an official stat in 1920.
“It’s fun to watch him doing it, fun to watch him fit in here, watching those guys embrace him and then him embrace it back," Boone said. "He’s been huge for us.”
New York's Aaron Judge went 0 for 3 but drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 44 games, the longest in the majors since Paul Goldschmidt's 46 games for St. Louis last season.
Cleveland rookie Peyton Battenfield made his major league debut, starting against baseball's most storied team after being recalled from Triple-A Columbus when Aaron Civale went on the injured list.
His day got off to a rough start when rookie Anthony Volpe doubled off the wall on the right-hander's second pitch. But Battenfield struck out Judge, retired Anthony Rizzo and Stanton on grounders, coasting into the fifth inning with a 3-0 lead.
New York touched him for two runs in the fifth, when Vanover's scary injury sent a chill through Progressive Field.
With two on, Kyle Higashioka hit a double off the wall. Center fielder Myles Straw quickly got the ball to All-Star second baseman Andrés Giménez, who spun and fired a throw toward the plate that struck Vanover, between second and the mound, on the left side of the head.
The impact knocked Vanover off his feet, sending his hat flying and sprawling him across the infield grass. Giménez was visibly shaken as Vanover was checked by a trainer before slowing walking off the field.
“He’s going to be at the hospital for the rest of the night maybe,” plate umpire Chris Guccione said. “I’m glad he was able to walk and get to the hospital. That was scary. Very hard to focus after that after you see a colleague get hit.”
Earlier, Vanover was involved in the heated discussion with Boone, who was tossed for the first time this season and 27th of his managing career.
Cleveland had runners at second and third with one out in the first when Josh Naylor hit a looper to center field that outfielder Aaron Hicks appeared to catch with a sliding grab. Hicks threw to second for a force and an apparent inning-ending double play.
However, as both teams were in their respective dugouts, a replay was shown on the giant left-field scoreboard of Hicks failing to make the catch. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Guardians manager Terry Francona had requested a challenge in the allotted 15 seconds.
Vanover huddled with the other three umpires for several minutes and first spoke to Francona, who appeared satisfied with what he was told.
That brought out Boone, who was upset because he felt the Guardians had taken too long to request the challenge.
Following the review, and a nearly 10-minute interruption, the umpires ruled Naylor’s ball dropped in for a base hit and an RBI. The Guardians further capitalized on the overturn when Josh Bell hit an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
Even after discussing the play with MLB officials, Boone felt the umpires mishandled the call.
“I’m not saying they looked at the scoreboard, but obviously you could feel the emotion in the building and then it’s them getting together to get it right and then going to Cleveland and I think in the end bailing them out," Boone said.
“I took exception to it. They got the play right, but there is no way in my opinion that the environment didn’t create the end result.”
The Yankees didn't expect to be in chase mode this early in the season.
But Tampa Bay's extraordinary start - the Rays were 11-0 entering Wednesday - has New York playing from behind.
“Wow, what a start,” Boone said of Tampa Bay's season-opening sprint, just the seventh double-digit win streak to begin a season.
“I'm not surprised,” Boone continued. “I thought heading into this year that they were really good from a pitching and where their roster is at position-player wise. I don't think you ever expect anyone to start 11-0, but we also know they're an excellent team.”
Yankees: INFs DJ LeMahieu (quad) and Gleyer Torres (hip flexor) were both rested as they deal with injuries the team wants to ensure don't become more serious.
Yankees: Open a 10-game homestand with rookie RHP Jhony Brito (2-0, 0.90) starting the series opener against Twins RHP Joe Ryan (2-0, 3.75).
Guardians: Following a travel day, Cleveland opens a three-game series vs. the Nationals with Cal Quantrill (0-1, 6.52) starting Friday's series opener against Trevor Williams (1-1, 4.35).
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