Cleveland rocks Yanks in 5-homer win

July 8th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The Indians gave a sold-out Progressive Field crowd a taste of the upcoming All-Star festivities on Friday night. Cleveland's lineup put on a home run derby and All-Star Corey Kluber cruised, leading to a convincing 10-2 win over the Yankees.

Led by a pair of home runs from Jason Kipnis and a monstrous blast by Mike Napoli, Cleveland belted a season-high five dingers. Combined with a strong effort by Kluber, whose lone blemish was a solo blast by New York's Brian McCann, first-place Cleveland picked up its 17th win in 21 games.

"I wish we could do that all the time. It's a nice way to play," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It was nice because you spread it out. And Klubes did exactly what you're supposed to. He threw strikes, and we made some nice defensive plays. He pounded the zone with really good stuff."

Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also went deep for the Tribe, while McCann ended the night 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for New York.

Yankees right-hander Chad Green was on the hook for four of the home runs in a 4 1/3-innings performance. Green struck out six, walked two and allowed five hits. Reliever Anthony Swarzak allowed Cleveland's fifth homer, which was a leadoff shot by Kipnis in the seventh. Santana and Kipnis also hit back-to-back homers in the first inning.

Kluber, who was named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement on Thursday, turned in eight innings for the Indians en route to his ninth win of the year. The righty gave up one run on five hits, finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks in his final outing of the first half.

"Man, he's good," New York first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "He's a Cy Young [Award winner] for a reason. He's an All-Star for a reason. [He was] just carving us up. He was really good, especially pitching with a lead. He was comfortable going after guys, and he pitched very well."


Power Nap: Napoli dropped jaws around Progressive Field with his tape-measure shot to the top of the left-field bleachers in the third inning. The home run fell just shy of reaching the wall under the Indians' video board and was measured at 460 feet, per Statcast™. It was not only the longest homer of the year for the Tribe, but the longest Indians home run ever recorded by Statcast™.

"I got a pitch up in the zone. I swing hard. Just caught it perfect," Napoli said. "To be honest, you really don't feel it off the bat. You just, I don't know. I can't really explain it. You swing hard and I just caught it right, right angle and barreled it." More >

Homers haunt Green: Napoli's shot was the fourth homer off Green on the night. The rookie gave up three homers in the first, including back-to-back jacks to open the game. The first non-homer hit off Green came on a one-out single in the fifth, which chased the him out of the contest. Green -- who is fighting for a spot in the rotation -- gave up two home runs in 14 Minor League starts this season. He has surrendered seven homers in three starts in The Show.

"I didn't execute some pitches, and a team like this is going to take advantage of it," Green said. "When I got ahead of them, I was fine. I made four mistakes all game, but those four mistakes cost me seven runs." More >

Just a little too short:Francisco Lindor was a spectator for the home runs by Chisenhall and Napoli, having drawn a walk ahead of each of those blasts. The shortstop tried to get in on the home run derby with a shot to deep center field in the fifth inning, but the deep fly hit near the top of the wall for an RBI double. That pushed the Indians to a 7-0 lead.

McCann's streaking: McCann laced a leadoff single into left in his first at-bat in the second frame, extending his hitting streak to a season-best nine games. He is now four games shy of matching his career-best mark of 13 games set in 2008. McCann later hit a leadoff homer in the seventh to snap the Indians' shutout bid. Per Statcast™, the home run ball traveled an estimated 356 feet at 95 mph. He finished with a three-hit night after an RBI double in the ninth.


"Right now, the way guys are pitching me, and the way my swing's going and the way I feel, we're just getting the bat through the zone kind of with a little more whip and a little more, I don't know what to say, power. It's just kind of the pull side is working for me right now." -- Kipnis, on having 14 home runs before the All-Star break

"A leadoff hitter who has 20 home runs at the break? Not many teams can say that. They know they better locate from the first batter on. That's the luxury that we have with him in the leadoff spot." -- Kipnis, on Santana

"Wow. I mean, I don't know how you hit a ball that far. Obviously I don't. That was fun to watch." -- Francona, on Napoli's home run


The three first-inning home runs by Santana, Kipnis and Chisenhall was a rare feat for the Tribe. It represented the first time since Sept. 18, 1998, (Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome and Richie Sexson) that Cleveland launched three homers in an opening frame. It has only been done seven times overall in Indians franchise history.

The consecutive homers by Santana and Kipnis marked the first back-to-back home runs to open a game for the Indians since Sept. 22, 2011, when Kosuke Fukudome and Kipnis accomplished the feat. Kipnis' multi-homer game was the third of his career and first since July 18, 2014, against Detroit.

For Santana, it marked his 20th homer of the season, making him the first Indians hitter to have at least 20 before the break since 2008 (Grady Sizemore). Santana and Napoli (18) give the Indians two players with at least 18 homers in the first half for the first time since 2001 (Thome, Juan Gonzalez and Ellis Burks).


Yankees: Left-hander CC Sabathia (5-6, 3.48 ERA) will take the mound for New York at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday. He has an 8.31 ERA over his previous three starts. Prior to that, Sabathia had a season ERA mark of 2.20 through 11 starts. Sabathia is 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA in nine career starts against the Tribe.

Indians: Hard-throwing right-hander Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.36 ERA) will take the mound for the first time as an All-Star when he toes the rubber against the Yankees on Saturday. Over his past seven turns for the Tribe, Salazar has gone 6-0 with a 2.42 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings.

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