NEW YORK — Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer on Tuesday as the New York Yankees opened the second round with a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians.
Steven Kwan of the Guardians homered in the third, where Gerritt Cole limited the damage by striking out Andrés Giménez at bat, with the bases loaded.
« That’s possibly the biggest at-bat of the game, » Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Cole allowed just two more runners, via a single and a walk. He struck out eight batters in six and a third innings. It was his first career playoff start in the Bronx.
« We did a really good job of getting him to throw a lot early in the game, » Guardians manager Terry Francona said. And then the fourth round was quick and that allowed him to get back into the game. »
Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes allowed only two hits the rest of the game.
The champions of the East section of the American have therefore started the playoffs well, after being inactive for five days.
Harrison Bader, who grew up not far from Yankee Stadium, tied the game 1-1 with a solo homer in third. Bader was acquired from St Louis at the trade deadline.
After a sacrifice fly by Jose Trevino in the fifth, Rizzo lifted the packed house of 47,807 with a two-run homer in the sixth, after a walk to Aaron Judge.
Six years ago, Rizzo grabbed the final out of the Chicago Cubs’ seven-game World Series triumph at the expense of Cleveland.
Cal Quantrill gave up four runs and three walks in five innings. He was 11-0 in his last 17 starts, having not lost since July 5.
The series will continue on Thursday. The starting pitchers will then be Shane Bieber and Nestor Cortes.