Mercado homers off Sabathia, Indians beat Yankees 8-4
CLEVELAND — Rookie Oscar Mercado hit a two-run homer off CC Sabathia to break a fifth-inning tie and the Cleveland Indians defeated the New York Yankees 8-4 on Saturday.
Roberto Perez homered in his fourth straight game for Cleveland. The Indians have won four of five on their homestand against AL division leaders New York and Minnesota.
Didi Gregorius hit a home run in his second game back with New York this season. The Yankees have lost five of six.
Sabathia, denied the 250th win of his career for the second straight outing, appeared to injure his leg fielding a groundball earlier in the fifth. The 38-year-old left-hander was removed after the fifth, allowing four runs.
Sabathia (3-3) was on the injured list from May 23-June 2 with right knee inflammation.
Mercado, who hit his third home run since being called up May 14, pumped his fist after rounding first base and giving his team the lead.
Perez and Kevin Plawecki homered off Jonathan Holder in the sixth. Perez also had an RBI double in the fourth.
Adam Plutko (2-1), called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, retired 16 of the final 17 hitters he faced following Gregorius’ two-run homer in the first. The right-hander sent down the last 10 hitters, giving up two runs in six innings.
Sabathia appeared to injure his leg fielding Plawecki’s high chopper to the left of the mound to begin the fifth. Sabathia got to the ball quickly and made a strong throw to first for the out, but came up limping.
Manager Aaron Boone and a team trainer went to the mound and spoke to Sabathia, who remained in the game. Leonys Martin flied out to deep right for the second out, but Francisco Lindor doubled past third base. Mercado drove a 2-2 pitch to right.
Sabathia who began his career with the Indians in 2001, is retiring after this season and likely pitched at Progressive Field for the final time.
Gregorius had two hits Friday and played shortstop for the second straight game. Gleyber Torres, who missed two games with a sore left shoulder, started at second base and drove in a run.
Slumping Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner seemed to suffer a cut lip when he threw his batting helmet against a dugout wall, only to have the protective gear ricochet back and hit him in the face. The outburst occurred right after his bid for extra bases was denied by an outstanding catch.
Yankees: Put RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who was scheduled to start Sunday on the paternity leave list. Boone said Tanaka will start Monday against the Mets. … Boone said RHP Dellin Betances (shoulder impingement) will be examined by team doctors in New York on Monday after feeling soreness in his shoulder/lat area while throwing at the team complex in Tampa, Florida. Boone said Betances threw Wednesday, but a session scheduled for Friday was scrubbed. “I think it’s good, but we want to run him through some more (tests),” Boone said … OF Giancarlo Stanton played in a simulated game after an extended spring training game was rained out. He was hit on the middle of the back by a pitch in his third plate appearance. He walked straight into the dugout, grabbed his gear and then walked to the clubhouse.
Yankees: Boone said before Saturday’s game that the team was undecided on Sunday’s starter.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (5-2, 3.57 ERA) has won his last three decisions.