Yankees fans in the right field bleachers pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinched hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York over the Guardians 6-5 on Saturday.
Rather than a celebration, Aaron Judge and other Yankees players rushed to the wall in right center field, trying to calm the crowd as security personnel joined in the effort.
Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (0-2) was one strike away from holding a 5-4 lead when Kiner-Falefa hit a 100mph fastball for an even double. Rookie left fielder Steven Kwan ran hard against the wall chasing the ball and got rocked, and the coach came out to check it out.
Before play resumed, Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado pointed to the stands and center fielder Myles Straw scaled the chain-link fence on the left to face at least one fan face-to-face, while another fan at nearby made a disparaging gesture.
Torres followed by fielding a single to right center for the game winner. As Mercado and Straw chased the ball into space, several fans began throwing objects at them.
Yankees players ran in place to quell the disturbance.
The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games and picked up their second win after a rare bullpen collapse.
Chad Green gave Austin Hedges a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth that put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Miguel Castro (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer off Nestor Cortes for Cleveland’s only hit in 6 1/3 innings against the crafty southpaw.
Josh Donaldson homered in the seventh against Cal Quantrill to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Guardians: INFs Yu Chang and Owen Miller and RHP Anthony Castro remained on COVID-19 IL. General manager Mike Chernoff did not have an update. … RHP James Karinchak (shoulder) is expected to kick off a bullpen session at the Spring Training Complex in Arizona this weekend. … C Luke Maile (strained left hamstring) is scheduled to continue a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus.
RHP Aaron Civale (0-1, 6.14 ERA) will start for Cleveland against New York RHP Gerrit Cole (0-0, 6.35). Cole pitched a career-low 1 2/3 innings Tuesday at Detroit. Cole matched his career-high five walks and allowed two runs and a hit, throwing just 37 of 68 pitches for strikes. “We were going to really perfect pitches, I think probably too often, and I think in some situations if I attacked the area better, we would have been in a better position,” Cole said on Saturday.
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