Josh Naylor hit a two-run single off Clay Holmes and Mike Zunino drew a go-ahead, bases-loaded walk from Wandy Peralta in a three-run, ninth-inning rall y that lifted the Guardians over reeling New York 3-2 on Monday night.
“It felt like the only thing that made that game not an hour was commercials,” Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill said.
After AL MVP Aaron Judge became the latest in a string of pinstriped stars on the injured list, Domingo Germán was two outs from a one-hitter and his first big league complete game when manager Aaron Boone went to his bullpen. The relievers unraveled and the Yankees (15-15) lost for the sixth time in eight games, dropping to .500 for the first time since they were 1-1.
“I just thought it was the right decision to do that there. Obviously it didn't work, so ultimately that falls on me," Boone said. “The long ball's been in play and bit him a little bit at times.”
New York took a 2-0 lead in the third off Quantrill when Jose Trevino drove a changeup to left for a 425-foot home run, the longest of his career, and DJ LeMahieu, in a 1-for-17 skid, added an RBI single.
The game was 1:40 old when Steven Kwan singled with one out in the ninth on Germán's 88th pitch to become Cleveland's third baserunner following Amed Rosario's first-inning single and Josh Bell's fifth-inning walk.
Fans in the crowd of 33,414 booed when Boone went to the mound and sent Germán to the dugout.
“Of course you want the opportunity to finish a game, but at the same time you understand that it's a decision that the manager makes, and I'm never going to disagree,” Germán said through a translator.
Holmes, an All-Star last year who has been inconsistent this season, tried to backhand Rosario's slow two-hopper between the mound and third. But he dropped the ball and could not throw to first in time, and was charged with an error.
“Maybe I should have just tried to barehand it,” Holmes said. “It's a play I need to make.”
José Ramírez singled sharply to left, loading the bases. Holmes fell behind his third straight batter, going to a 2-0 count on Naylor.
Naylor grounded the ball past diving second baseman Oswald Peraza and into right field, tying the score 2-2. Naylor didn't mind Yankees fans targeting him since his rocking a baby gesture during a home run celebration in Game 4 of the playoffs last October, which some New York supporters interpreted as a taunt of Gerrit Cole - Naylor said it wasn't.
“It’s humorous. It's fun, though,” Naylor said. “It’s part of the game, and it’s awesome to play at Yankee Stadium.”
Holmes threw just four of 10 pitches for strikes and blew a save for the second time in six chances.
“Even times when I've been maybe in the zone, it's just not maybe quite as crisp,” Holmes said.
Peralta relieved and walked Bell, reloading the bases, then struck out Andrés Giménez.
Zunino, who struck out his first three times up, fouled off a pair of full-count sinkers, then took a low-and-inside changeup.
“I was able to get something a little bit lower than I thought to make it an easy take,” Zunino said.
Enyel De Los Santos (2-0) got the final two outs of the eighth, throwing one pitch and picking off Anthony Volpe. Emmanuel Clase got three straight outs for his 10th save in 12 chances, ending a game that took just 2:06.
“We’re totally OK giving up lots of things on the field, but we won’t give up commercial breaks,″ Quantrill said.
New York scored three runs or fewer for the 14th time in 18 games. The Yankees also are missing Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and Harrison Bader, who could make his season debut Tuesday after recovering from an oblique injury.
Boone briefly addressed the team after Sunday's 15-2 defeat in Texas.
“We’re going through a tough stretch right now,” he said. “We’re beat up. But it’s like, we've got to focus on the here and the now and the day and being the best we can. You can’t start trying to make up games. And I’d say the same thing if we were eight games up.”
The game time matched Saturday's as the Yankees' fastest for a nine-inning game since June 18, 1996. If it had ended in 1:45, it would have been the fastest in the major leagues this year and New York's fastest since 1:43 on Aug. 10, 1981.
Guardians: LHP Sam Hentges, on the IL since spring training with a sore shoulder, is to pitch Tuesday for Triple-A Columbus following a Sunday rainout. He then could be activated.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) is to throw 45-50 pitches Wednesday for Class A Tampa and could be back with the Yankees in two to three weeks.
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (5-0, 1.11 ERA) starts Tuesday night against Tanner Bibee (1-0, 1.59), a 24-year-old right-hander who beat Colorado in his big league debut last week, allowing one run and six hits over 5 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. ---
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