Salazar has slow start, Francona ejected in Indians’ loss
NEW YORK (AP) — Terry Francona had a good view of Danny Salazar’s rough start from the dugout. He was watching on TV as the right-hander found his groove a little too late.
Salazar gave up five runs in the first two innings, Francona was ejected in the third and the Indians lost for the first time in the Bronx this season, 6-2 Saturday.
Cleveland quickly jumped to an early lead on Francisco Lindor’s homer off fellow rookie Luis Severino (1-2) in the first. Salazar (11-7) then gave up homers to Brett Gardner and Brian McCann in the bottom half. His error in the second helped New York score two more.
“Disappointing. You’ve 55,000 people and, my goodness, if anything you’d be overamped, but he came out and his velocity wasn’t real good and they took advantage of it,” Francona said. “It seemed like the game sped up on him.”
The Indians had a chance to get back into it in the third when they put runners on first and third with one out, but Michael Brantley hit a grounder to first baseman Greg Bird, who made a throw high and wide to shortstop Didi Gregorius.
Coming across the bag, Gregoruis had to come up on his toes to glove the ball. Second base umpire Dan Iassogna called Lindor, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, out.
Francona objected and was tossed, the second ejection doled out by Iassogna this series. He gave Yankees manager Joe Girardi the heave-ho Thursday night for arguing balls and strikes.
“I just wanted to check with them — because I know what I saw — but I wanted to talk to them first,” Francona said. “So, as a crew, they got together first, which was good, and they came back to explain it to me and he was trying to make three points, and I thought all three were incorrect.”
Severino then got out of the inning by striking out Carlos Santana. The 21-year right-hander went six innings for his first major league victory. He walked four and struck out six.
“For the first time I feel like I belong,” Severino said. “I feel like I can pitch at this level.”
New York has a chance for a split of the four-game series Sunday, following a pregame ceremony to retire left-hander Andy Pettitte’s No. 46.
The team held festivities before this game, too, retiring the No. 20 of fiery catcher Jorge Posada. The Yankees then showed some spark of their own in the first inning.
Trailing by a run, New York came out swinging. Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Gardner homered to right. One out later, McCann connected on a drive to right-center.
Cleveland fell to 38-13 when scoring first.
Salazar helped New York add on two runs in the second, when he fielded Ellsbury’s comebacker, spun and made a wild throw to second base.
But Salazar recovered to pitch 4 2-3 innings. He was charged with eight hits and five runs — four earned. He struck out six without a walk.
“I felt more calm on the mound, executing the pitches better down in the zone,” Salazar said. “I think if I would have started the game with that confidence that I had the last two innings, it would have been a different (game).”
Lonnie Chisenhall had an RBI single off Dellin Betances in the eighth, ending the big reliever’s scoreless stretch at 18 appearances dating to July 8.
Indians: Cody Anderson (left oblique) will throw three innings in a rehab start Monday at Class-A Lake County. He had a bullpen session Friday.
Yankees: Pitcher Bryan Mitchell, recovering from a broken nose after being hit in the head by a line drive Monday, is set for a bullpen session Sunday.
During his speech, Posada wished Indians utility man Mike Aviles and his family best wishes as their 4-year-old daughter undergoes treatment for Leukemia. Aviles, watching the ceremony from the Cleveland dugout, pointed to Posada and tipped his cap in appreciation.
“Everybody knows Posada is a class act, there’s not a person in here that doesn’t know, if they didn’t know, they do know today,” Aviles said after the game. “It definitely put a pit in my throat.”
Indians: Trevor Bauer (9-10) will be making his fifth career start against New York. He is 1-3 with a 5.85 ERA against the Yankees, including an 8-6 loss on Aug. 13.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (4-9) faces his former team for the second time in less than two weeks. He allowed nine hits and two runs over six innings at Progressive Field.