The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 at Progressive Field as Shane Greene, a righty from Florida, picked up his first win of his career in his first start. The Bronx Bombers have now won four of their past five games after winning three of four games in Minnesota against the Twins.
Greene did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth inning. He retired 17 of the first 22 batters that he faced. He lost his no-hitter in the fifth as former Yankee Nick Swisher hit a solo homer. Greene was very impressive as he only allowed two runs, didn’t walk anyone, picked up two strikeouts and his sinker and slider worked well for him.
“His sinker worked really well,” Girardi said. “He did a lot of good things. We have said all along this kid has a lot of talent. I don’t think he tried to do too much, and that is impressive. He was really, really good.” Francisco Cervelli, who Greene credited with calling a great game, was impressed with how Greene was able to bounce back. “In the first inning I think he was a little anxious,” Cervelli said. “The next inning he came back like a veteran guy. Kid was really good.”
“I would rather give up a homer than a walk,” Greene said. “Having a lot of familiar faces helped, (the season) has been a bit of a roller-coaster, but it feels good to be here.” (Greene was called up as a result of the Nuno for McCarthy trade, and he hadn’t allowed a run in his last 13 innings at AAA-Scranton. He was likely helped by having a 5-0 lead after three innings.
Brett Gardner had three hits, which ended up being his third game of three or more hits this season. He increased his average to a solid .289. In the second inning, his single to left drove in Brian Roberts and sent Cervelli to third. Earlier in the inning, for the team’s first run of the game, Roberts hit a double to deep left to score Brian McCann. The Yankees scored their third run of the inning on a Derek Jeter walk with the bases loaded that sent Johnson home. Jeter needs only two more multi-hit games to reach 1,000 for his career.
The Yankees scored their third and fourth runs of the game in the third inning. Ichiro Suzuki’s infield single to first scored Mark Teixeira with one out. Later in the inning, McCann scored after Cervelli grounded into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop. Justin Masterson struggled mightily against the Yankees as he only pitched two innings, and since he gave up a walk and single to start the third before being taken out, all five runs were charged to him.
Cleveland scored a run on three hits in the sixth inning, but Greene was impressively able to get Carlos Santana to fly out to right with runners on first and second to end the inning. David Huff gave up a homer to Yan Gomes to leadoff the eighth after pitching a scoreless seventh, and Dellin Betances came in after Gomes’s homer to get the final six outs for his first career save. He was very efficient as he got those six outs on only 15 pitches. Betances was pitching in his first game since being selected to his first All-Star Game.
This is what Betances said about being an All-Star for his first time: “It’s been unbelievable. I have been blessed. I have learned a lot from the guys and am just enjoying everyday.” On being voted in by the players Betances said: “It is a humbling experience for me. I have had a lot of ups and downs. I think confidence (has helped) more than anything. Just having fun as well.”
The Bronx Bombers had a balanced offensive attack as four players had two or more hits. The Yankees are an impressive 26-16 in games decided by two runs or less.
Masahiro Tanaka will get the start in Game 2 of the series on Tuesday. He has a 1.87 ERA in his 10 starts outside of the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles won on Monday night, which means that the Yankees are still 3.5 games behind them for first place in the division.