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MLB playoffs: Yankees blast Indians, Shane Bieber in Game 1

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit a solo home run in the first inning of a win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of an American League wild card series Tuesday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit a solo home run in the first inning of a win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of an American League wild card series Tuesday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees touched up Cy Young award favorite Shane Bieber for seven runs to win Game 1 of their American League wild card series against the Cleveland Indians.

Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed two runs and had 13 strikeouts in the 12-3 victory Tuesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

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"It was a lot of fun and a really complete, team game," Cole told reporters. "When they scored, we responded, even when we had a sizable lead."

Bieber allowed nine hits, two walks and two home runs in 4 2/3 innings. The 2020 MLB leader in ERA, wins and strikeouts did not allow more than three runs in a game in 11 regular season starts.

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"I wasn't as aggressive as I wish I would have been with my offspeed stuff in the zone and fastballs inside and just challenging these guys," Bieber said. "I fell behind quite a bit and forced myself into some bad situations and bad counts.

"All that on top of not having my best stuff amounted to tonight. No excuses. This isn't the start we wanted."

Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton each homered for the Yankees. Torres went 4 for 4 with three RBIs, three runs scored and a walk.

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Judge got the scoring started in the second at-bat of the game after Yankees infielder D.J. LeMahieu singled to right field. The Yankees outfielder obliterated Bieber's only offering of that exchange for a two-run homer to right field. The 399-foot blast had an exit velocity of 108 mph, according to Statcast.

First baseman Luke Voit then gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead with an RBI double in the third frame. Indians slugger Jose Ramirez smacked a ground ball RBI double to right field in the bottom of the same frame to make the score 3-1.

Gardner pushed the Yankees lead to 4-1 with another RBI double in the top of the fourth inning. LeMahieu gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead with an RBI single in the same inning.

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Indians left fielder Josh Naylor hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning before Torres stepped up to the plate in the fourth at-bat of the next inning. The Yankees shortstop smashed a 2-2 Bieber fastball over the center field fence for a two-run homer. The 412-foot homer gave the Yankees a 7-2 lead.

Gio Urshela and Torres each hit RBI singles in the top of the seventh frame before Gardner followed with a two-run homer to give the Yankees an 11-2 edge.

Stanton brought in the Yankees final run with another solo homer to center field in the top of the ninth inning. The 443-foot homer off Indians relief pitcher Cam Hill had an exit velocity of 116 mph and left the field in 4.4 seconds.

Indians right fielder Tyler Naquin plated Naylor with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth frame for the final run of the game.

Naylor went 4 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the loss. Gardner went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored for the Yankees. LeMahieu and Voit had two hits apiece in the win.

The Yankees face the Indians in Game 2 at 7:08 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Progressive Field.

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