New York at Cleveland

N.Y. Yankees
W: P. Byrd (1-2) L: A. Pettitte (3-2)
S: R. Betancourt (2)
HR: NYY - J. Giambi (4), J. Giambi (5), H. Matsui (4)   CLE - J. Peralta (5), F. Gutierrez (2)

Indians beat Yankees for fourth straight win wire reports

CLEVELAND -- They were pesky, annoying and timely. They buzzed around the basepaths and bothered the New York Yankees.

And Cleveland's famous flying midges were nowhere to be found.

The Indians bugged the Yankees all by themselves.

Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homer off Andy Pettitte in the fifth inning, and the Indians won their fourth straight Friday night, beating New York 6-4 in the Yankees' first visit since last year's AL playoffs when they were bombarded by swarming bugs.

Peralta's big shot off Pettitte (3-2) put the Indians ahead 4-3, and Franklin Gutierrez followed with a homer off the lefty.

Peralta had four RBI and Jamey Carroll had a run-scoring single and stole two bases for the Indians, who scored all their runs with two outs.

"This should give us confidence," Paul Byrd said. "It was 3-1 late in the game with two outs and we did little nit-picky things: a walk, a chopper, a base hit and we made something happen. That's what we did so well last year. It's the little things, the pesky walks, the getting guys over that makes things happen.

"We're hoping this continues."

Byrd (3-1) went 5 2/3 innings, reliever Rafael Perez blanked the Yankees for 2 1/3 and interim closer Rafael Betancourt worked a perfect ninth for his second save in two nights. He's filling in while Joe Borowski, last year's saves leader, rests a strained right triceps.

Jason Giambi homered twice and Hideki Matsui connected for the Yankees, whose previous trip to Cleveland ended with an unforgettable loss that began a chain of events leading to the end of manager Joe Torre's era in New York.

On an uncommonly warm Oct. 5 night, a swarm of midges off Lake Erie descended upon Cleveland's infield and seemed to enjoy feasting on then-rookie Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain during the eighth inning of Game 2.

Chamberlain's face and neck were covered with the tiny, flying critters, who bothered him so much that he uncorked two wild pitches, including one that allowed the Indians to tie a game they eventually won 2-1 in 11 innings.

The victory gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series, which they won in four. Torre was criticized for not taking his team off the field as the insects invaded and ended up turning down a one-year offer from owner George Steinbrenner before taking over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Yankees know what pests the Indians are.

"They can put runs on the board just as fast as we can," Giambi said. "They got guys up and down the lineup that can put balls in the seats."

Byrd, who got the win when the Indians eliminated the Yankees in Game 4 at New York, allowed four runs and six hits. The right-hander gave up all three homers, but he didn't walk a batter and had his third straight strong outing.

Afterward, he didn't feel worthy of an interview.

"You guys have no business being here right now," Byrd politely told reporters. "I just pitched OK. Rafael Perez was the man."

Alex Rodriguez returned to New York's lineup and went 0-for-4. He missed three games with a strained quadriceps, and said it's still tender.

"I felt it all game," A-Rod said. "The big thing is on takeoffs. If I hit a ball on the ground, I've got to take it easy rather than try to beat it out and miss a month. But I feel OK. I'm going to be fine."

Down 3-1, the Indians scored four times with two outs in the fifth off a tiring Pettitte.

Travis Hafner singled to left and Victor Martinez followed with a base hit. Peralta, who came in batting just .184 (7-for-38) in his past 11 games, drove a 3-1 pitch over the 19-foot-high wall in left to make it 4-3. Gutierrez followed with his second homer -- and first since his first at-bat this season -- for a 5-3 lead.

"I ran out of gas," Pettitte said. "I hit a wall there. It's extremely disappointing to have the lead and give it up. With two outs all night, they really made me work extremely hard and just wore me down."

Matsui brought the Yankees within a run in the sixth with his fourth homer, chasing Byrd. Perez came on and handled the Yankees with ease.

The Indians made it 6-4 in the sixth off former teammate Billy Traber, again scoring with two outs. Grady Sizemore walked, stole second and scored when Carroll dropped a soft single into left.

Giambi's second homer off Byrd gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the fourth. With Jorge Posada on, Giambi hit an estimated 455-foot drive into the right-field bleachers. Giambi has 36 multihomer games and his swing seems suited for Cleveland. He has homered in five straight games here and in seven of his past eight.


  • The Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak in the regular season to New York.
  • The Yankees will end their opening-month road odyssey in Cleveland. Barring any changes in the next few days, the club will play 18 road games in April, the most for any team in the month. New York is also in a stretch of playing 18 of 20 on the road, the longest such stretch for the Yankees since 1958.
  • Indians 1B Ryan Garko, in an 0-for-12 slide, got his first off day this season. 2B Asdrubal Cabrera also sat after playing both games of a doubleheader on Thursday.
  • With the Indians starting lefties the next three days, New York is expected to recall INF/OF Shelley Duncan, a right-handed hitter, on Saturday.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jason Giambi hits one of his two homers during the Yankees' 6-4 loss.   (AP)
Jason Giambi hits one of his two homers during the Yankees' 6-4 loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Giambi
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2

J. Peralta
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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2017 AL East Preview: New York Yankees (3:09)
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4010000 .244
Derek Jeter, SS4000001 .260
Bobby Abreu, RF4010011 .297
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000001 .293
Hideki Matsui, DH4111010 .321
Jorge Posada, C4110000 .295
Jason Giambi, 1B3223000 .186
Robinson Cano, 2B2000100 .156
Melky Cabrera, CF3000001 .296
2B - Johnny Damon (7, Byrd)
HR - Hideki Matsui (4, Byrd), Jason Giambi 2 (5, Byrd, Byrd)
RBI - Hideki Matsui (11), Jason Giambi 3 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Hideki Matsui (2), Jason Giambi 3 (4)
Team LOB - 2
Outfield Assists - Melky Cabrera 1
DP - Pettitte-Cano-Giambi
E - Jason Giambi (2, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (L,3-2) 5854332 3.23
Billy Traber 1111210 4.50
Jonathan Albaladejo 2000100 2.35
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 99-56, Billy Traber 31-14, Jonathan Albaladejo 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 9-2, Billy Traber 1-1, Jonathan Albaladejo 5-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 25, Billy Traber 6, Jonathan Albaladejo 7
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4100100 .264
Jamey Carroll, 2B5121002 .250
Travis Hafner, DH3110112 .230
Victor Martinez, 1B3110103 .365
Jhonny Peralta, SS4124000 .256
Franklin Gutierrez, RF3111110 .229
Casey Blake, 3B3000113 .239
Jason Michaels, LF4010000 .163
Kelly Shoppach, C3010112 .281
HR - Jhonny Peralta (5, Pettitte), Franklin Gutierrez (2, Pettitte)
RBI - Jamey Carroll (3), Jhonny Peralta 4 (10), Franklin Gutierrez (9)
2-OUT RBI - Jamey Carroll (2), Jhonny Peralta 4 (5), Franklin Gutierrez (6)
SB - Grady Sizemore (7, 2nd base off Traber/Posada), Jamey Carroll 2 (2, 2nd base off Pettitte/Posada, 2nd base off Traber/Posada)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Peralta-Carroll-Martinez
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,1-2) 5.2644003 4.85
Rafael Perez (H,2) 2.1000110 5.25
Rafael Betancourt (S,2) 1000010 3.27
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 77-59, Rafael Perez 23-17, Rafael Betancourt 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 7-10, Rafael Perez 3-2
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 23, Rafael Perez 7, Rafael Betancourt 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31467
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Derryl Cousins