Ellsbury’s homer in 14th gives Yankees 5-4 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — After seeing their best pitcher go on the disabled list and then having to endure a marathon game, the New York Yankees needed something good to happen.
Jacoby Ellsbury answered the call with a two-out homer in the 14th inning to give the Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was grateful to come out on the winning end of a game that took 4 hours, 51 minutes and featured a second seventh-inning stretch before the Indians batted in the 14th.
“It’s much, much better,” he said. “That’s a tough game to lose for either side because both bullpens did an exceptional job and it came down to one big hit.”
Ellsbury thought it might take a home run to win the game. He hit his sixth of the season on an 0-2 pitch from Vinnie Pestano (0-1).
“That’s what it felt like, that it was going to take a home run to get a run across. But our bullpen pitched unbelievably to give us a chance to win that game,” he said. “It was a nice team win.”
Chase Whitley (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings. David Robertson recorded his 22nd save, retiring All-Star Michael Brantley on a long fly ball to left with a runner on second to end the game.
Before the game, New York placed rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka, who leads the majors with 12 wins, on the 15-day disabled list due to right elbow inflammation. The All-Star had an MRI in New York on Wednesday.
The injury list grew during batting practice when outfielder Carlos Beltran broke his nose when he was hit in the face by a ball that deflected off the batting cage. He had X-rays and a CT scan and will be re-evaluated Thursday.
Mark Teixeira of the Yankees hit a solo homer in the fourth and a two-run blast in the fifth.
New York’s bullpen pitched scoreless ball over the final 7 1-3 innings.
Nick Swisher had a two-run single in the first when Cleveland scored three runs.
Marc Rzepczynski retired Kelly Johnson on a groundout in the 14th and was relieved by Pestano. Brendan Ryan flied out before Ellsbury delivered.
“Vinnie got up 0-2 and tried to bury a breaking ball, but left it over the plate and that was the game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Robertson retired Chris Dickerson to start the bottom of the inning before Jason Kipnis singled and stole second. After Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, Brantley lofted a popup into foul territory. Johnson, playing third base, tried to make the catch with his back to home plate, but the ball hit off his glove and fell to the ground.
Brantley then sent a fly ball to left, but Zoilo Almonte, who was called up from Triple-A to replace Tanaka on the roster, made a running catch over his head in front of the warning track.
Both teams squandered scoring chances in the 10th. Cody Allen struck out Ichiro Suzuki with two on to end the top of the inning. David Huff then walked the bases loaded with one out, but Shawn Kelley struck out Swisher and retired David Murphy on a groundout.
Brandon McCarthy, acquired in a trade with Arizona on Sunday, allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings in his Yankees debut. The first-inning runs were all unearned thanks to first baseman Teixeira’s throwing error.
McCarthy allowed nine hits, struck out three and walked one.
“He did a good job,” Girardi said. “He got a lot of ground balls. After the first inning, we had one miscue. He shut them down for most of the game after that. He gave us a really good performance.”
Josh Tomlin allowed four runs in seven innings for the Indians. The right-hander has given up 13 home runs in 77 innings.
The Indians will present Derek Jeter with a gift before Thursday’s game, the final regular season appearance in Cleveland for the 14-time All-Star.
NOTES: Francona said RHP Zach McAllister, currently pitching at Triple-A Columbus, will start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. McAllister is taking the rotation spot of RHP Justin Masterson (right knee inflammation). ... Masterson threw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... Beltran missed the first two games of the series with soreness behind his right knee. ... RHP David Phelps (3-4) starts for the Yankees against LHP T.J. House (1-2) in Thursday’s series finale.