Bronx, NY —Gleyber Torres has been a consummate professional this season and just waiting his turn to help the Yankees.
Torres was finally the man of the day, walking off with a base hit to right center to finish off the Cleveland Guardians for a 5-4 victory.
Some fans in the right-field section at Yankee Stadium bombed Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans, and debris in a crazy scene Saturday, which took away from the Torres’ celebration and victory.
Security personnel joined the effort to stamp out the disturbance.
“You certainly don’t want to put anyone in danger. I love the intensity, but you can’t be throwing stuff out on the field,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado got a beer can thrown at his face, so Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton, among other Yankees went out to right center to try to calm things down.
” At the end of the day, we are all professional athletes and we are in a fraternity of sorts. So we have to do anything to protect the Guardians at the point. We definitely don’t want anyone to get hurt.” Yankees first baseman Rizzo said afterwards.
LHP Nestor Cortes pitched a gem for 6 1/3 innings, his only mistake was a hanging curve ball to Josh Nailor, who deposited it over the left field fence to put Cleveland up 2-0 in the fifth.
The lead wouldn’t last long, third baseman Josh Donaldson homered in the seventh against flame thrower Cal Quantrill to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Right reliever Chad Green gave up a two-run homer to Austin Hedges with two outs in the eighth that put the Guardians ahead 4-3. Miguel Castro (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth.
Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (0-2) was one strike from closing a 4-3 lead when Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a 100 mph fastball for a tying double off the left field wall. Rookie left fielder Steven Kwan crashed into the wall chasing the ball and a trainer went out to check him.
“Kwan was a little shaken up and had some cuts on his face and there was a specific Yankee fan in left field that was celebrating Kwan getting hurt,” Oscar Mercado said. “It’s almost like, it’s acts of violence. You can’t say stuff like that, especially when someone gets hurt.”
“I just let him know, ‘Listen, man, you can chirp all you want but don’t celebrate someone getting hurt.’ That’s classless and that shouldn’t be a thing,” he said. “You can root for your team all you want, I’m not denying that. Honestly, it’s good for the game when there are die-hard fans, but do it the right way.”
Before the game resumed, Mercado pointed in the stands and center fielder Myles Straw climbed the chain-link fence in left to confront face-to-face at the instigator, while another fan nearby made a derogatory gesture.
“I think Myles was sticking up for his teammate,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “The kid’s out there bleeding and we’re checking him for a concussion, and I think emotions probably got a little out of control.”
Torres followed by lining a single to right-center for the game-winner. As Mercado and Straw chased the ball in the gap, several fans began throwing objects at them.
“One came close to my face and I caught it. It was a beer can,” Mercado said.
“They need to be held accountable and I think there should be rules set up for that because that’s ridiculous and that should not happen,” he said. “Say whatever you want to say and do whatever you want to do, but at the end of the day there’s got to be consequences for behavior like that.”
The Bronx Bombers won for the fourth time in five games and got their second walk-off win following a rare bullpen collapse. The final outburst from the fans wasn’t what they wanted.
RHP Aaron Civale (0-1, 6.14 ERA) will start for Cleveland against New York RHP Gerrit Cole (0-0, 6.35). Cole pitched a career-low 1 2/3 innings Tuesday in Detroit. He matched his career high of five walks and allowed two runs and one hit, throwing just 37 of 68 pitches for strikes.