Indians win 2-1, drop Yankees out of first place in AL East
CLEVELAND (AP) The New York Yankees' lead in the AL East is gone.
Danny Salazar pitched neatly into the eighth inning, Abraham Almonte's RBI single broke a 1-all tie in the sixth and the Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees 2-1 on Wednesday night.
The loss, coupled with Toronto's 10-3 win over Oakland, knocked New York out of first place for the first time since July 2.
The Yankees, who have lost five straight, led the division by seven games on July 28, but trail the Blue Jays by a half-game following Toronto's 10th straight win.
''It's hard to believe,'' New York's Alex Rodriguez said. ''We can't control what they (Toronto) do over there or what any team does in the American League East. We have to worry about what we're doing.''
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is well aware of the standings, but remains confident in his team.
''It's going to come down to what we do in the next 50 games or whatever we've got left,'' he said. ''We knew we were in a battle before today started and we're still in it.''
Salazar (10-6) was pulled after issuing one-out walks to to Brett Gardner and Chase Headley in the eighth, but Cody Allen got Rodriguez to hit into a double play to end the inning.
''I thought it was a great situation,'' Rodriguez said. ''I just didn't get it done. I got a good pitch to hit and put a decent swing on it.''
Salazar gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings to help the Indians win their fourth straight.
Allen struck out Mark Teixeira to start the ninth but threw a wild pitch on strike three allowing Brian McCann to reach first. Carlos Beltran lined out to left field and Didi Gregorius struck out as Allen earned his 23rd save.
CC Sabathia (4-9), who allowed two runs in six innings, is optimistic better times are ahead.
''It's a long season,'' he said. ''We know what we've got ahead of us. Hopefully we can turn it around.''
The teams played 16 innings Tuesday night with the Indians winning 5-4 in a game that lasted 5 hours, 4 minutes.
McCann's homer put New York ahead in the second, but rookie Francisco Lindor's RBI single in the fifth tied it.
Carlos Santana and Jerry Sands singled to start the sixth. After a force play at second, Almonte, a former Yankees farmhand acquired from San Diego on July 31, singled up the middle putting Cleveland ahead.
New York has scored six runs in the losing streak and the offensive problems continued against Salazar. McCann broke an 0-for-16 slump with his home run, but that's all the Yankees could generate against the right-hander, who held the Yankees to four hits and struck out eight.
The Yankees threatened in the seventh. Teixeira led off with a single and took third on Beltran's one-out double, but New York failed to score. Salazar caught Gregorius' popup in front of home plate and struck out Chris Young.
Neither team took batting practice on the field before the game following Tuesday's marathon.
''There are heavy legs on both sides, but everyone has heavy legs at this point of the season,'' Girardi said. ''That's going to be the case when you play 162 games in 180 days.''
''It took a toll probably on everybody's energy, both teams,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''We regroup and adjust a little bit. When the guys play 16 innings and five hours, batting practice the next day is by far not the most important thing.''
Yankees: Leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, in a 4-for-45 skid and hitless in his last 19 at-bats, was given the night off.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis (sore right shoulder) hit in the batting cage Wednesday and could return next week. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 3.
Yankees: RHP Nathan Eovaldi is tied for the AL lead with an .846 winning percentage, posting an 11-2 record through 22 starts.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer is 4-5 with a 5.60 ERA at home.