Yan­kees come­back over Cleve­land

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Tom WITH­ERS

CLEVE­LAND — Didi Gre­go­rius, fol­low­ing in the Oc­to­ber foot­prints left by Derek Jeter, home­red twice off Corey Klu­ber as the New York Yan­kees beat Cleve­land 5-2 in Game 5 on Wed­nes­day night to com­plete their come­back from a 2-0 deficit in the Di­vi­sion Se­ries and de­throne the AL cham­pi­ons.

These bend-but-don’t-break Yan­kees staved off elim­i­na­tion for the fourth time in this post-sea­son and ad­vanced to play the Hous­ton Astros in the AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries start­ing Fri­day at Minute Maid Park.

“It’s just our time,” starter CC Sa­bathia said.

The AL West cham­pion Astros, led by five-foot-six dy­namo and MVP can­di­date Jose Al­tuve, went 5-2 against the wild-card win­ners this sea­son.

Af­ter win­ning twice in New York, man­ager Joe Gi­rardi and the Yan­kees – with lit­tle of­fen­sive help from rookie star Aaron Judge – came into Pro­gres­sive Field and fin­ished off Cleve­land, who won 102 games dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, ripped off a his­toric 22-game win­ning streak and were favoured to get back to the World Se­ries af­ter los­ing in seven games a year ago to the Chicago Cubs.

Cleve­land’s Se­ries drought turns 70 next year – base­ball’s long­est dry spell.

Cleve­land closed to 3-2 in the fifth against Sa­bathia be­fore David Robert­son pitched 2 2/3 hit­less in­nings for the win. Yan­kees closer Aroldis Chap­man, who faced Cleve­land in last year’s spinet­in­gling World Se­ries and signed an $86 mil­lion free agent con­tract in De­cem­ber, worked two in­nings for the save.

Chap­man went to the mound with a three-run lead in the ninth af­ter Brett Gard­ner bat­tled Cody Allen for 12 pitches be­fore hit­ting an RBI sin­gle, with New York’s fifth run scor­ing when Todd Fra­zier raced home on right fielder Jay Bruce’s throw­ing er­ror.

Gard­ner’s gritty at-bat was sym­bolic of these Yan­kees. They wouldn’t give in.

“We can win a lot of dif­fer­ent ways,” Gard­ner said.

When Austin Jack­son was called out on strikes to end it, the Yan­kees rushed to the mound to cel­e­brate.

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