Mandatory Credit: Photo by JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13476389g) New York Yankees batter Giancarlo Stanton reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Cleveland Guardians in the bottom of the first inning of the fifth game of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York, New York, USA, 18 October 2022. MLB Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees, USA – 18 Oct 2022
AL Division Series, Game 5: Yankees 5, Guardians 1 (New York wins series, 3-2)
The Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees finally completed their 5-game series late Tuesday afternoon, a 5-game set that ended up being stretched out longer than expected due to two different rain postponements at Yankee Stadium. Nestor Cortes took the mound for New York against Aaron Civale for Cleveland in the decisive game, as the Houston Astros awaited the winner the following day with plenty of rest.
The afternoon got off to a disastrous start before quickly ending for Aaron Civale, who walked a batter, hit another, and allowed a three-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton before being removed from the game having only recorded one out. Aaron Judge would add another home run in the second, this one a solo shot off Sean Hentges to extend the lead to 4-0. The Guardians finally threatened in the top of the third, stringing together two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Jose Ramirez would plate Cleveland’s first run on a sacrifice fly, but Nestor Cortes would limit the damage from there to keep it 4-1. Trevor Stephan provided a big spark for the Guardians out of the bullpen, holding the deficit at three for 2 ⅓ innings before exiting in the fifth with a runner aboard. Anthony Rizzo would immediately single off of his replacement James Karinchak, driving in Gleyber Torres to make it 5-1 before the game moved to the sixth.
Jonathan Loaisiga was chosen to replace starter Cortes on the mound for New York in the top of the sixth, and immediately found himself in hot water after back to back singles by Amed Rosario and Jose Ramirez. Loaisiga would retire each of the following three hitters though, escaping the inning without issue and igniting the Yankee Stadium faithful. Karinchak and the Guardians would halt a Yankees’ rally in its tracks in the bottom of the sixth as well, but Cleveland faced a steep uphill battle heading into the final frames if their season was to survive the night. Clay Holmes entered in the eighth and tossed a dominant inning while striking out two, and Wandy Peralta finished the Guardians despite two singles in the top of the ninth. New York’s win sets up the ALCS matchup many have been anticipating since the spring against the AL West champion Houston Astros.
The Yankees and Astros will begin the American League Championship Series Wednesday night in Houston, giving New York zero days off before battling a 106-win juggernaut. Awaiting them in Game 1 will be Astros’ ace Justin Verlander, who dominated them for seven strong innings back on June 24.
ALCS Game 1: Wednesday, 6:37pm CT at Minute Maid Park in Houston