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Guardians grind out 3-2 comeback win over Yankees

Mike Zunino was responsible for three of the team’s four hits

New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Cleveland Guardians rode their disgusting brand of baseball past the New York Yankees, rallying to win 3-2 despite getting outhit on the night by the Bronx Bombers.

The first inning had the makings of a long night for Shane Bieber.

A first-pitch fastball to Gleyber Torres turned into a leadoff double. Bieber then issued a five-pitch walk to Aaron Judge, before Anthony Rizzo loaded the bases with a single. Giancarlo Stanton struck first blood with a two-run double, punishing a 91 mph fastball in the heart of the strike zone. But that was all the blood the Yankees would draw against Bieber.

The Guardians’ ace managed to escape the first inning without further damage, then went to work keeping New York off the scoreboard for the next six innings. Bieber only allowed four baserunners after the first inning, buying enough time for Cleveland to claw their way back from the early 2-0 deficit. His final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 ER, 4 K.

Yankees starter Domingo Germán struggled with command issues and only lasted three innings. The Guardians were able to take advantage of his lack of control to create traffic on the basepaths, drawing six walks into the fourth inning, but cashing in proved easier said than done.

Cleveland even needed a little extra help from Germán to get on the board. Andres Gimenez reached base on an error by Germán in the second inning. He stole second and advanced to third on a Josh Bell groundout, before scoring on a sac fly from Will Brennan.

The Guardians wouldn’t strike again until the fourth inning. After Bell drew a leadoff walk, Brennan worked an 11-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. It was at that point that Mike Zunino reminded the fans in attendance and those watching from home why he was signed in the offseason. He lined an RBI double into left field to plate the game-tying run.

Zunino had himself a night. Of the four hits that Cleveland collected, he was responsible for three of them, all of them which were doubles. Zunino was even robbed of an RBI double in the eighth inning when the ball got caught in the netting around the video board in the left field wall. It was ruled a ground rule double and Brennan was prevented from scoring from first.

The game-winning run came in the seventh inning. Once again, it started with a leadoff walk, this time from Steven Kwan. He proceeded to steal second and then advance to third on a Jose Ramirez fielder’s choice, before scoring the go-ahead run on a sac fly from Josh Naylor.

The game was arguably won in the eighth inning with James Karinchak on the mound. After being penalized for a pitch clock violation before even throwing a pitch, he watched as Gleyber Torres sent a sinking liner into center field. Myles Straw made the ill-advised decision to dive for it, but he couldn’t make the play and the ball rolled past him to gift-wrap a leadoff triple for Torres. Backed against a wall, Karinchak managed to retire Aaron Judge with a curveball on a checked swing that turned into a popout. He fed Anthony Rizzo three fastballs before striking him out on a curveball. Finally, he pumped a 96 mph fastball past Stanton for the inning-ending strikeout.

As you can imagine, Karinchak was pumped:

Emmanuel Clase pitched a clean ninth inning to close it out for Cleveland.