NEW YORK >> Shortstop Francisco Lindor’s double error led to a pair of runs in a four-run fifth inning off previously unhittable Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray won for the first time in a month and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 today for their 14th win in 15 games.
New York is in its first 14-1 stretch since the 1998 Yankees won 114 games during the regular season and then the first of three straight World Series titles. The Yankees have won eight straight home games for the first time since 2010.
Gray (2-2) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, working with more poise and polish to backup catcher Austin Romine than he has with All-Star starter Gary Sanchez. Gray has a 3.72 ERA in five starts with Romine this year; his ERA is 15.63 ERA in two starts with Sanchez.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game that Romine will catch Gray “certainly for the foreseeable future” even though Boone does not like personal catchers.
Reminded that Bob Boone, the manager’s All-Star father, was displaced in Philadelphia when Steve Carlton started because the Phillies ace preferred to pitch to Tim McCarver, Aaron Boone quipped: “He didn’t hit like Gary, though.”
Chad Green followed Gray and struck out four over two perfect innings, and David Robertson finished the five-hitter for his first save.
Making his first start since sparking a Twitter spat by suggesting Houston pitchers may be use pine tar, Bauer (2-3) retired his first 13 batters in order on 45 pitches, then needed 41 pitches to get the final two outs of the fifth. He lasted six innings and gave up two hits, and just two of the four runs off him were earned.
Cleveland center fielder Bradley Zimmer left the game after his head slammed into the Plexiglas on the right-center field wall, trying to rob Romine of a double in the seventh inning. Zimmer crumpled to the field and walked slowly back to the dugout.
Lindor put the Indians ahead in the fifth with his fourth homer in five games, but he’s made three errors in the past two games.
Neil Walker and Miguel Andujar walked with one out in the bottom half for the Yankees’ first two runners, and Gleyber Torres lined a soft single to center for the Yankees’ first hit — and only hit of the inning, it turned out.
Romine fell behind 1-2 in the count, worked it full, fouled off a pair of pitches, then took inside fastball for a walk that forced home the tying run.
Ronald Torreyes hit a two-hopper for what appeared to be an easy inning-ending, double-play grounder to Lindor, a Gold Glove winner in 2016. Lindor allowed the ball to bounce out of the pocket of his glove, picked it up and threw past third baseman Jose Ramirez to the screen in front of Cleveland’s dugout as Andujar and Torres scored.
Brett Gardner followed with a sacrifice fly to left fielder Michael Brantley, whose throw to third appeared to beat Torreyes before Romine crossed the plate. But the Indians did not ask for a video review.
Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI grounder in the sixth, and Gardner added a run-scoring single in the seventh off Ben Taylor.