Yankees win ALDS opener 4-1 riding on Cole’s ace pitching, homers by Rizzo and Bader

Yankees win 2022 ALDS opener against Cleveland.

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New York Yankees 4, Cleveland Guardians 1

NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole pitched well while Harrison Bader and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs for the Yankees to power them to a 4-1 victory in the ALDS Game 1.

The Yankees have won six straight playoff games against the Guardians, starting with a comeback from being down 2-0 in the 2017 Division Series. Even if Josh Donaldson made another mistake on the bases, that wouldn’t have stopped them.

After Guardians rookie Steven Kwan hit a home run in the third inning, Bader stopped José Ramrez’s shot to left-center and made Amed Rosario stay at third to save a run. Cole got out of a jam with the bases full when he struck out Andrés Giménez.

Aaron Boone, the manager of the Yankees, said, “That could be the best at-bat of the game right there.”

Cole had already thrown 60 pitches, but he only needed eight in the fourth and only let two more runners get on base, thanks to a single and his only walk. In his first playoff game for the Yankees in the Bronx, he won. He left after giving up one run, four hits, and eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

According to Cleveland manager Terry Francona:

“We did a really good job early of driving his pitch count up. And then he had a real quick fourth inning, that kind of got him back into the game.”

Jonathan Loáisiga, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes all gave up two hits in relief to start the best-of-five matchup. The AL East champion Yankees came back from a five-day break and got off to the perfect start in the playoffs.

Bader was bought from St. Louis at the trade deadline. He was back in the ballpark where, as a 15-year-old attending Horace Mann School 5 miles away, he watched the 2009 postseason from the first-base seats.

In the third, he caught Cal Quantrill’s sinker and hit it over the left-field wall to tie the game at 1-1. The crowd of 47,807 largely remained standing and provided unflinching support to the home team.

In the fifth inning, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s single to the right field was followed by a Jose Trevino sacrifice fly that put the winning run on base. Wild Card Series star Oscar Gonzalez let the ball bounce through his legs for a two-base error.

Rizzo, who caught the last out when the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland in Game 7 of the World Series six years ago, got rid of Quantrill with a drive into the second desk in right field after Aaron Judge walked.

In the previous inning, Donaldson committed another error that typified the lack of hustle that has characterized his first season in New York. The former AL Most Valuable Player started the bottom of the fifth inning with a drive that hit the top of the 10-foot wall in right field, just in front of the hands of a fan, and then bounced back onto the field. The score was tied at 1-1 at the time.

Donaldson started to run because he thought it was a home run. He even gave first base coach Travis Chapman a high-five.

Gonzalez caught the ball after it bounced and threw it to shortstop Amed Rosario manning the second base. Donaldson was halfway between first and second base when Rosario took a few steps and threw to Josh Naylor at first base. Donaldson tried to slide back into first, but he was tagged out.

Right field umpire Mark Ripperger called the ball in play, and a video review showed that he was right.

On the day of the game, it had been 74 years since Cleveland won the World Series.

Quantrill lost for the first time since July 5, after going 11-0 in his first 17 games. In five-plus innings, he gave up four runs, three of which were earned, four hits, and three walks.

With this Game 1 win, Gerrit Cole was finally able to bury the ghost of the 2021 Boston ALDS defeat.

UP NEXT

On Thursday, the Yankees will send out left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes (12-4), who will face right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber (13-8). There is a chance of rain in the forecast.

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