Giancarlo Stanton can’t do it alone. The slugger hammered a home run in the first inning off Cleveland ace Shane Bieber on Friday and then the Yankees’ offense shut down. The Guardians’ pitching frustrated the Bombers leading to a 4-2, 10-inning win in Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.
The best-of-five game series is now tied at one game and moves to Cleveland and after Thursday’s postponement and will play out over the next four days if necessary.
The Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday and Aaron Judge, who set an AL and franchise record with 62 home runs this season, went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. It was his first four-strikeout game of 2022. Judge, who played 55 of the Yankees’ last 56 games, is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in the first two games of this series. It is only the second time in his career that Judge has gone hitless in back-to-back games. He went hitless in three in his rookie season against Cleveland in the ALDS.
The Guardians, who won a 1-0 game in 15 innings to advance to this series, just wore the Yankees down.
Jameson Taillon, making his first career appearance out of the bullpen, started the 10th by giving up a tough double to Jose Ramirez. The short fly ball dropped just short of a sliding Oswaldo Cabrera in left. Josh Donaldson grabbed the ball and misfired to second base, sending the ball into right field and putting Ramirez on third with no outs. Oscar Gonzalez’s fly to shallow right dunked in between Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo for a go-ahead RBI single. Josh Naylor followed with a fly ball that got past Harrison Bader for an RBI double.
He grounded out to third with one out in the ninth, before Anthony Rizzo lined a single over the shortstop’s glove. The Yankees were without Stanton, who had driven in the Yankees’ only other runs, in the bottom of the 10th because Boone had pinch run for him in the eighth. Tim Locastro flew out to left to lead off the extra inning.
Stanton made an unusually demonstrative protest of a 3-1 call against him in the first inning; throwing up his hands on a ball low and away that home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak called a strike. On the very next pitch, Stanton sent the ball into the right-field seats and then tossed his bat emphatically to the ground before trotting around the bases.
It was Stanton’s 10th home run in his 20th playoff game. The 32-year-old designated hitter only made his first postseason appearance nine years into his career after he was traded from the Marlins to the Yankees. His 10 homers is the second most through a players’ first 20 postseason games in baseball history, behind Carlos Beltran’s 11.
Shane Bieber did not face the Yankees in the regular season this year, but in his three previous starts, he was 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA and five homers dating back to 2019, including a disastrous outing in Game 1 of the 2020 Wild Card Series, when he allowed seven runs in just 4.2 innings.
Friday, Bieber was much better. After giving up the two-run homer to Stanton, Bieber shut the Yankees down for the next five innings. The Yankees got five hits and three walks off him, he struck out seven. Bieber got 20 swings and misses, 11 on his cutter Isaiah Kiner-Falefa’s hump-back single over the glove of a leaping Andres Gimenez with two outs in the seventh was the end of his day.
The Yankees had runners in scoring position three more times and couldn’t bring in any runs against him.
Making his first-ever postseason appearance, Nestor Cortes went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Cortes worked his way into trouble in the fourth. After getting two quick outs from Jose Ramirez and Oscar Gonzalez, Josh Naylor beat out a ground ball to second. Cortes walked Owen Miller on four straight pitches and Andres Gimenez chipped a single into right field to score Naylor. That was the first run Cortes had allowed in 17.1 consecutive innings, dating back to Sept. 20.
The lefty got ahead of catcher Austin Hedges 1-2 and walked him. With the bases loaded, Cortes lept to grab Myles Straw’s liner over his head, landed on his behind and threw to first to get the final out.
Rosario hammered a one-out home run in the fifth to tie the game. It was his 12th this year, it traveled 416 feet directly into the Yankees bullpen, where right-hander Lou Trivino had been warming up since the beginning of the inning.