Looking for his fifth win since joining New York back in July, Brandon McCarthy took the mound on Saturday afternoon to face the same team that he went up against in his Yankees debut, the Cleveland Indians.
McCarthy was impressive again, but in the end, and early homerun from turned out to be the difference maker in a 3-0 loss in the second of three games at Yankee Stadium this weekend.
McCarthy worked around a two-out single in the 1st inning, then again retired the first two hitters of the 2nd before Lonnie Chisenhall lined a single to center field. A batter later, Jose Ramirez made it a 2-0 game with a two-run dinger that just barely made it's way over the right field wall for his first career homerun. In any other ballpark, that ball would have stayed in, but not in Yankee Stadium, who left-handed hitter live like kings with the short porch in right field.
That was the only blemish on the lineup of McCarthy, who put together another solid outing, going 6 1/3 inning, giving up just the two runs on seven hits, striking out eight without issuing a single walk on 90 pitches.
McCarthy was good, but Indians starter Corey Kluber was even better. Kluber didn't put a runner on base until hitting Francisco Cervelli with a pitch in the 3rd inning, and he didn't give up a hit until Jacoby Ellsbury smacked a one-out double in the 4th.
Kluber ran into some trouble in the 6th inning, giving up back-to-back leadoff singles to Derek Jeter, who moved into sole possession of 6th place on baseball's all-time hits list with his 3,431st base knock, and Ellsbury, setting up runners on first and second with nobody out. But Kluber buckled down to strikeout the next three hitters, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, and Stephen Drew, to end the inning and escape the danger.
Kluber, in all, struck out 10 in six shutout inning, giving up just four hits while walking one batter on 109 pitches.
McCarthy gave up a pair of hits before handing the ball to Rich Hill with one out in the 7th. Hill gave up a single to Chris Dickerson to load the bases, then got Jason Kipnis to ground into a fielder's choice at the plate for the second out of the inning. Joe Girardi made another pitching change, bringing in Chase Whitley, who struck out Mike Aviles for the final out of the inning.
Michael Brantley added to Cleveland's lead in the 8th inning with a solo homerun off of the right field foul pole against Whitley, pushing the Indians' lead to 3-0.
The Yankees threatened again in the 8th, with Brett Gardner doubling off of Scott Atchison to open the inning. After striking out Jeter, Atchison hit Ellsbury on the left foot with a pitch, putting runners on first and second with one out. But then Atchison battled back to strike out Beltran and Headley to end the inning.
Indians pitchers struck out 15 Yankees hitters, as the Bombers put another one of their weak hitting displays with just four hits, snapping their three-game winning streak.
The Yankees and Indians will finish up their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET. Hiroki Kuroda will be on the mound for New York, with Carlos Carrasco getting the ball for Cleveland.
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