NEW YORK — The Yankees were riding high on Friday night, slugging five home runs en route to an 8-0 blowout victory over Cleveland.
As is the case with all roller-coaster rides, however, peaks will quickly turn into valleys.
On Saturday, the Yankees were shellacked by the Indians, falling 11-3 in a rout at Yankee Stadium.
It all unraveled for Aaron Boone's squad in the fifth inning when Cleveland dropped seven runs. With one out in the frame, catcher Gary Sánchez whiffed on a popup in foul territory behind home plate, allowing center fielder Óscar Mercado to extend his at-bat. On the next pitch, Yankees starter Luis Gil plunked Mercado.
Mercado was the first of seven batters to reach in the inning. The last of that group hurt the most. Shortstop Andrés Giménez crushed a three-run home run to right off reliever Albert Abreu to break the game wide open.
Once left-hander Andrew Heaney came in from the Yankees' bullpen, this one was all but over. Heaney went on to serve up two more home runs, from sluggers Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez in the sixth and eighth respectively.
On offense, the Yankees racked up eight hits in the loss, but they were all scattered throughout the game. Giancarlo Stanton's solo home run in the seventh put New York on the board, preventing the shutout.
With the home run, Stanton now has 30 homers on the season, his sixth big-league campaign with 30-plus homers in his career. It's also the 11th game in a row where the Yankees have smacked at least one ball out of the ballpark, extending their season-long streak.
First baseman Luke Voit added a big fly of his own in the eighth, a two-run shot to deep left.
It'll be up to ace Gerrit Cole to make sure this laugher doesn't turn into a losing streak. Cole takes the ball Sunday afternoon in the final game of this three-game set. Then, the Yankees will wrap up their homestand with another three-game series against the lowly Texas Rangers.
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