CLEVELAND -- Behind Trevor Bauer's strong performance, the Indians took advantage of several defensive miscues to spoil Jaime Garcia's Yankees debut on Friday night at Progressive Field. The end result was a 7-2 victory for Cleveland, extending its home winning streak to nine games.
Bauer picked up his 10th win after allowing one run, seven hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven solid innings. He has won his past three starts, posting a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings.
"Early on, he didn't have the strikeouts, and he didn't let it get in the way of the game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He was efficient early, and then he started, as he can do, he gets into the game and he finds his pitches and his rhythm and he started getting his strikeouts. But he didn't let it bother him early, which was good."
The Indians took a 3 1/2-game lead in the American League Central, combined with the Royals' 5-2 loss to the Mariners, while the Yankees dipped to three back of the Red Sox in the AL East and stayed 1 1/2 games up for one of the two AL Wild Card spots.
The only run New York scored off Bauer came on a homer from third baseman Todd Frazier. The Yankees added a run in the ninth off Indians reliever Bryan Shaw on Brett Gardner's RBI single to center.
Acquired from the Twins via trade on Sunday, Garcia was seeking better results in his first start with the Yankees. The left-hander took the loss after surrendering six runs (five earned), five hits and four walks with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. It came a night after defensive miscues also proved costly in Sonny Gray's Yankees debut.
"[Garcia] was up in the zone," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He didn't throw as many strikes with his fastball as he usually does. This is a guy that's pitched for three different teams in three different starts and been all over the country. He looked rusty to me."
Edwin Encarnacion drove in two runs for the Tribe with an RBI double and sacrifice fly, and Austin Jackson and Michael Brantley each contributed RBI knocks. The Indians scored a run on a wild pitch from Garcia, a passed ball by catcher Gary Sanchez and a throwing error from right fielder Aaron Judge.
"I feel good behind the plate, but there's definitely been a couple of situations there where I haven't been able to catch the ball," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "It has cost us runs."
• Girardi frustrated by Sanchez's miscues
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Heads-up baserunning: After Garcia set down the first two hitters in the second, he issued a walk to Carlos Santana that would prove costly. The next batter, Jackson, hit a grounder past a diving Frazier and into the left-field corner. Santana came all the way around from first to score on the double with a headfirst slide into home. Jackson -- who advanced to third on the throw to the plate -- later crossed the dish on the passed ball by Sanchez to make it a 2-0 game.
"When we're not playing down, you can be aggressive and you can see what can happen," Francona said of the Tribe's baserunning. "When you're aggressive and you're intelligent to boot, it really helps us win games."
Urshela aids Bauer's escape: With one down and runners at the corners in the fifth, Clint Frazier swung at a first-pitch cutter from Bauer and hit a high chopper to the left side of the infield toward Giovanny Urshela. The Tribe's third baseman leaped high to snag the chopper and made a jumping, across-the-body throw to the plate where catcher Roberto Perez tagged out Ronald Torreyes. This would prove to be a huge play in the inning, as Bauer later escaped the frame with a bases-loaded strikeout of Sanchez.
"I don't think it's an overstatement to say that's potentially a game saver," Francona said of Urshela's play. "That was an inning that Trev ended up throwing about 30 pitches, gave up one, had to pitch out of the bases loaded [and] got the strikeout. But without that play, you don't know. That was an incredible play."
"The hardest part on that play at home, I had no angle to home plate," Urshela said. "With the runner, I had to throw above him. Thank God that was a smaller runner. I was able to make the play." More >>
"I felt good last outing. I felt like I was sharp, then I didn't feel very sharp today. I haven't pitched in eight days. My routine has been all jacked around. Mostly I was just happy to be able to compete and not walk guys and get myself in trouble. Guys behind me helped out a lot tonight." -- Bauer, on his start
Yankees: Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (7-6, 4.15 ERA) looks to bounce back from the shortest start of his career after lasting just 2 2/3 innings in his previous outing against the Rays on Sunday. Montgomery could be pitching on Saturday for his spot in the rotation, as the Yankees plan to go from six starters to five.
Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (4-5, 4.63 ERA) will get the nod in Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET matchup against the Yankees at Progressive Field. In two starts since coming off the disabled list on July 22, Salazar is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 16 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .095 batting average. Preview >>
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