Yan­kees stag­ger into Sox se­ries, swept by In­di­ans

The Day - - SPORTS - By RON­ALD BLUM AP Base­ball Writer

New York — Trevor Bauer and Ryan Mer­ritt shut down the Yan­kees' of­fense, lead­ing the Cleve­land In­di­ans to a dou­ble­header sweep that dam­aged New York's chances to win the AL East. Bauer won his ca­reer-best sev­enth straight de­ci­sion, Jose Ramirez tied his big league high with four hits and the In­di­ans took ad­van­tage of Gary Sanchez's passed ball in a two-run first in­ning that stood up for a 2-1 win in Wed­nes­day's opener.

Yandy Diaz hit a two-run sin­gle in a four-run first in­ning against rookie Jor­dan Mont­gomery in the sec­ond game, and Ed­win En­car­na­cion, Yan Gomes and Fran­cisco Lin­dor added home runs in a 9-4 blowout that com­pleted a three-game se­ries sweep and ex­tended the In­di­ans' win­ning streak to seven games.

De­fend­ing AL cham­pion Cleve­land has won 16 of 20, open­ing a 7 1/2-game lead over sec­ond-place Min­nesota in the AL Cen­tral.

New York dropped five games be­hind first-place Bos­ton in the AL East head­ing into a four-game se­ries against the Red Sox at Yan­kee Sta­dium start­ing tonight. While the Baby Bombers lead the wild-card race, eight teams still have re­al­is­tic chances to make the one-game play­off, and 24 of New York's re­main­ing 30 games are against those con­tenders.

Sanchez's 13th passed ball, sec­ond-most in the ma­jor leagues, caused an un­earned run. Lin­dor sin­gled lead­ing off, stole sec­ond, went to third on Ramirez's sin­gle and came home on the passed ball, which also al­lowed Ramirez to ad­vance.

Both starters were brought up from the mi­nors for the sec­ond game, and Mer­ritt (2-0) be­gan 16 of 22 bat­ters with strikes, al­low­ing one run and five hits in 5 1/3 in­nings. Cleve­land sent 10 bat­ters to the plate in the first against Mont­gomery (7-7), tak­ing a 2-0 lead on En­car­na­cion's RBI sin­gle and Car­los San­tana's run-scor­ing dou­ble.

Mont­gomery needed 43 pitches to get through the first and al­lowed four runs and six hits in four in­nings. Greg Bird drove in four runs with an RBI sin­gle in the sec­ond and a three-run homer in the ninth.

Trainer's room

Yan­kees: LHP Aroldis Chap­man un­der­went an MRI on Sun­day to seek the cause of dis­com­fort in his pitch­ing el­bow. The Yan­kees said no is­sues were found. Chap­man, who lost his closer's job in mid-Au­gust fol­low­ing poor per­for­mances, says he has a lit­tle sore­ness.

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