The Yankees punished the Indians for their defensive miscues, earning a 7-3 victory in Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, forcing a Game 5. The Indians uncharacteristically committed four errors, something they didn’t do once during the regular season.
Third baseman Giovanny Urshela was in the lineup strictly for his defense at third base, but he committed a costly error in the bottom of the second inning which helped the Yankees hang a four-spot on the board. With one out, Urshela booted a Starlin Castro grounder. During Todd Frazier‘s at-bat, Roberto Perez allowed Castro to advance to second base on a passed ball. Frazier then doubled to bring Castro home, breaking the scoreless tie. Aaron Hicks knocked in Frazier with a single and Gardner added a single of his own, putting runners at first and third. Gardner stole second and promptly scored along with Hicks on a well-struck double to left field by Aaron Judge to make it 4-0. Indians starter Trevor Bauer intentionally walked Didi Gregorius before exiting the game with two outs in the second.
With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the third, Brett Gardner slapped a grounder to Urshela at third base. Urshela briefly glanced at second base but realized he didn’t have a play there, then hurried a throw to first base. It was high, pulling Carlos Santana off the bag and allowing the Yankees to score another run.
The Indians, to their credit, did not roll over against Yankees starter Luis Severino. Carlos Santana drilled a two-run home run to center field in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 5-2. Roberto Perez added a solo home run in the fifth.
The Yankees kept their foot on the gas pedal, adding a run in the fifth on Gardner’s sacrifice fly and another run in the sixth on a solo home run from Gary Sanchez off of Bryan Shaw, pushing the lead back to four runs at 7-3.
Severino managed to get through seven innings, giving up the three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out nine on 113 pitches. It was a marked improvement from his short-lived start in the AL Wild Card game.
Dellin Betances took over in the eighth and walked the first two batters he faced. Tommy Kahnle, however, came in and helped save the Yankees from danger by getting two strikeouts and a fly out. Kahnle returned in the ninth, fanning Santana, Michael Brantley, and Lonnie Chisenhall to finalize the 7-3 victory.
The two clubs will meet for the rubber match on Wednesday in Cleveland at Progressive Field. CC Sabathia will start for the Yankees. Expect Corey Kluber for the Indians despite his struggles in Game 2.