NEW YORK — Yankees fans in the right-field bleachers pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York over the Guardians 6-5 Saturday.
Rather than a celebration, Aaron Judge and other Yankees players rushed toward the wall in right-center field, trying to calm the crowd as security personnel joined the effort.
Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (0-2) was one strike away from preserving a 5-4 lead when Kiner-Falefa hit a 100 mph fastball for a tying double. Rookie left fielder Steven Kwan ran hard into the wall chasing the ball and was shaken up, and trainer came out to check him.
Before play resumed, Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado pointed at the stands and center fielder Myles Straw climbed the chain-link fence in left to confront face-to-face at least one fan, while another fan nearby made a derogatory gesture.
Torres followed by lining a single to right-center for the game-winner. As Mercado and Straw chased the ball in the gap, several fans began throwing objects at them.
Yankees players ran to the spot to quell the disturbance.
The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games and got their second walk-off win following a rare bullpen meltdown.
Chad Green allowed a two-run homer to Austin Hedges with two outs in the eighth that put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Miguel Castro (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth.
Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer off Nestor Cortes for Cleveland’s only hit in 6 1/3 innings off the crafty left-hander.
Josh Donaldson homered in the seventh against Cal Quantrill to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Guardians: INFs Yu Chang and Owen Miller and RHP Anthony Castro remained on the COVID-19 IL. General manager Mike Chernoff did not have an update. … RHP James Karinchak (shoulder) is expected throw a bullpen session at the spring training complex in Arizona this weekend. … C Luke Maile (strained left hamstring) is to continue a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus.
RHP Aaron Civale (0-1, 6.14 ERA) will start for Cleveland against New York RHP Gerrit Cole (0-0, 6.35). Cole pitched a career-low 1 2/3 innings Tuesday in Detroit. Cole matched his career high of five walks and allowed two runs and one hit, throwing just 37 of 68 pitches for strikes. “We were going for really perfect pitches I think probably too often, and I think that just in some certain situations if I just attacked the zone better, we would have been in a better spot,” Cole said Saturday.