Kiner-Falefa Saves the Day. Gleyber Wins It. NY 5 Cleveland 4

With 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th and the Yanks down 4-3, Isiah Kiner-Falefa doubled off the wall in left to plate Tim Locastro from 2nd to tie the game 4-4! Then Gleyber Torres ripped a line drive between outfielders in right center to walk it off for the Yanks — 5-4!

Yankee fans in right field started throwing things on the field — a situation that had started after the Falefa double off the wall, wherein left fielder Steven Kwan banged into the wall and was on the ground in pain, and centerfielder Myles Straw started climbing the left field wall to go after fans who were heckling the downed Kwan. When Gleyber’s hit ended the game, Cleveland players started to confront fans in right who were throwing things onto the field – and Yankee players had to go out and tell the fans to stop throwing things.

It was the 1970’s all over again.

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium — sunny and temps close to 70 degrees.

The win improved the Yankee record to 9-6, and they remained 1 game back of 10-5 Toronto.

1. Kiner-Falefa Saves Day; Gleyber Wins the Day

Kiner-Falefa saved the day for the Yankees and Chad Green, who blew the save in the top of the 8th by allowing a 2-out, 2-run homer to Austin Hedges, giving Cleveland a 4-3 lead.

Josh Donaldson led off the bottom of the 9th against Cleveland closer Emmanuel Chase with a walk, and Locastro ran for him. Aaron Hicks struck out but Locastro stole 2nd — a huge play as it put him in scoring position with the tying run.

Joey Gallo hit a soft line drive out to 1st for the 2nd out.

With the Yankees’ backs to the wall, Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up an ripped a shot to left that went over left fielder Kwan’s head, tying the game as Kwan slammed into the wall trying to catch it.

Chase throws 101 MPH. Afterwards Kiner-Falefa mentioned “I’ve caught him before, so that always helps. I like velocity. So once I seen that I was feeling really good. I just ran into something with 2 strikes. I stayed short. I was really looking to hit a line drive up the middle and got good wood on it.”

Gleyber Torres pinch hit for Kyle Higashioka and ripped the line drive to right center for the walkoff.

WFAN posted a close up of John making the call, which went viral.

2. Cortes Terrific

Nestor Cortes Jr started for the Yanks and was terrific again — in total command and pitching a shutout into the 5th when he walked Amed Rosario and made a mistake to Josh Naylor, who deposited it into the right-field seats. It was the only hit Cortes allowed all afternoon.

In the 4th, Cortes caught Anthony Rizzo‘s throw and dove on 1st base to beat the runner — the defensive play of the game.

Another view:

“The legend of Nestor grows now,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “I got on him for being late covering the bag and having to turn it into that.”

Boone added, “He was great. I thought he was really sharp today. Even when he was missing, he was just off. I felt he was pinpoint, in command, efficient, working fast, and ends up turning in an amazing play there at 1st.”

Cortes pitched into the 7th — finishing with 6.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, struck out 8 and walked 1.

3. Kiner-Falefa Run in the 5th

The Yankees immediately tied the game in the bottom of the 5th — with 1 out Aaron Hicks walked, Joey Gallo singled, and Kiner-Falefa singled in a run.

Higahioka hit a sac fly to centerfield, which plated Gallo — Kiner-Falefa tried to move to 2nd on the play, drawing the relay throw and was thrown out. But the game was tied, Gallo scoring before he was tagged out.

4. Donaldson Had Put Yanks Ahead

Josh Donaldson put the Yanks ahead with a 421-foot homer to centerfield in the 7th. It put the Yanks in a good place until Chad Green coughed up the lead in the 8th.

The Boxscore


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