Gary Sánchez failed to catch a foul popup that led to a seven-run fifth inning capped by Andrés Giménez’s three-run homer, and the Cleveland Indians routed the Yankees 11-3 on Saturday to slow New York‘s playoff run.
Franmil Reyes hit an RBI double off Albert Abreu in the big fifth inning and a two-run homer in the sixth against Andrew Heaney.
Yu Cheng put the Indians ahead with a second-inning homer off Luis Gil (1-1) and added a two-run double in the fifth against Abreu. José Ramírez hit his 34th homer in the eighth against Heaney.
New York has 13 games left and began the day a half-game ahead of Toronto for the second AL wild card. The Yankees dropped 1 1/2 games behind wild card-leading Boston.
A day after the Yankees won the series opener 8-0, they fell behind 10-0 by the sixth inning on Don Mattingly Bobblehead Day. The former Yankees captain was a six-time All-Star but missed the playoffs in all but one of his 14 big league seasons.
Sánchez failed to tag out the Mets’ Jonathan Villar last weekend when Joey Gallo’s throw reached the plate 20 feet ahead of him, then was criticized by manager Aaron Boone after failing to prevent two costly wild pitches in Thursday’s 3-2, 10-inning loss in Baltimore.
Sánchez overran a foul pop behind the plate by Oscar Mercado in the fifth inning on the sunny afternoon, misreading the backspin, and was charged with his sixth error. The Yankees have made 92 errors, fourth-most in the major leagues.
Mercado slammed his bat in frustration thinking the at-bat was over, but returned to the plate and was hit by a pitch.
Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit hit late homers for New York, which has lost 14 of 21 following a 13-game winning streak. Gallo left after the third inning because of neck tightness.
Aaron Civale (11-4) pitched six scoreless innings of four-hit ball in his third start since returning from missing over two months with a sprained middle finger on his right hand. Cleveland is just 72-74.
Mercado’s hit by pitch began a string of six straight hitters to reach base. Ramírez walked and Reyes greeted Albert Abreu with a double over leaping third baseman DJ LeMahieu.
Cheng doubled for a 4-0 lead and Owen Miller hit an RBI single through the drawn-in infield.
Fans cheered sarcasticallty when Sánchez caught Austin Hedges’ popup, and Giménez homered for an 8-0 lead.
Reyes hit a two-run homer in the sixth following LeMahieu’s throwing error.
Gil allowed three runs — two earned — and three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (strained right shoulder) will throw four or 55-60 pitches in a minor league rehabilitation appearance for Double-A Akron on Sunday. Bieber has been on the injured list since June 14. … 1B Bobby Bradley (hip) was held out of the lineup though interim manager DeMarlo Hale said he is feeling better.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020) was feeling upbeat after throwing a simulated game Friday according to manager Aaron Boone. … RHP Jameson Taillon (right ankle tendon) threw a bullpen. … RHP Jonathan Loáisiga (strained right shoulder) played catch. … RHP Domingo Germán (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled for a minor league rehabilitation appearance Saturday night.
Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (15-7, 2.75 ERA) opposes RHP Eli Morgan (2-7, 6.03) Sunday.