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MLB playoffs: Yankees sweep Indians, advance to ALDS

New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela hit a grand slam in the fourth inning of a playoff win over the Cleveland Indians Wednesday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela hit a grand slam in the fourth inning of a playoff win over the Cleveland Indians Wednesday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees overcame an early four-run deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians, sweep the American League wild card series and advance to the American League Division Series.

New York clinched a spot in the second round of the 2020 MLB postseason with a 10-9 triumph Wednesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

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The four-hour, 50-minute game was the longest nine-inning game in MLB history. The game also featured 76 minutes in weather delays.

"That was one of the best games I've ever played in my life," Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela told reporters. "That was a great game.

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"We fought all game and got a couple delays, but the team always stayed positive and focused. Everybody had the same goal. We made it."

Yankees infielder D.J. LeMahieu plated the winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning of the back-and-forth affair. Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed five hits and six runs in four innings, but was picked up by the New York offense.

Urshela was the only Yankees player to collect more than one hit in the victory. He went 2 for 5 with a grand slam, four RBIs and two runs scored.



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The Indians jumped on Tanaka in the bottom of the first inning. Tanaka forced Francisco Lindor to ground out in the Indians first at-bat before he gave up back-to-back doubles to Cesar Hernandez and Jose Ramirez. Ramirez plated Hernandez on his double to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

Tanaka went on to allow a two-run double to Josh Naylor in the same inning. Roberto Perez plated the final run of the inning with an RBI single to left field to give the Indians a 4-0 edge.

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton smacked a 420-foot solo home run to right field in the top of the second inning to spark the comeback. The Yankees pounced on Indians starter Carlos Carrasco in the top of the fourth frame.

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Carrasco allowed a leadoff triple to Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks before he issued walks to Luke Voit and Stanton to load the bases. The Indians then replaced Carrasco with relief pitcher James Karinchak to face Urshela.

Urshela worked the count full before he hit a 96.2-mph Karinchak fastball over the fence in left center field. The 432-foot grand slam gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead.

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Stanton pushed the Yankees lead to two runs with an RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning. The Indians then tied the score at 6-6 when Ramirez hit a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to give the Yankees another two-run advantage. Indians outfielder Jordan Luplow answered with a game-tying, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cesar Hernandez gave the Indians a 9-8 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees then rallied for a final time in the top of the ninth inning to secure the victory.

Sanchez tied the game with an RBI sacrifice fly. LeMahieu then plated the go-ahead run with an RBI single to center field. Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman closed out the victory and allowed just one hit and had four strikeouts over the final two innings.

Carrasco allowed two hits and four runs in three innings for the Indians. Hernandez, Ramirez and Roberto Perez collected two hits apiece in the loss.

Sanchez went 1 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored for the Yankees. Stanton went 1 for 2 with two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored.

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The Yankees face the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Monday at Petco Park in San Diego.

"We are really excited about it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Give Cleveland a lot of credit. That's a great organization and a great team. We beat a team that has been playing really well.

"That game was a lot of fun to be a part of. ... I don't know how you top that one."

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Miami Marlins players pose for a picture after defeating the Chicago Cubs 2-0 in the National League Wild Card Game to win their first playoff series in 17 years in Chicago on Friday. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

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