ROOKIE Oscar Gonzalez hit a bases-loaded, two-strike single with two outs in the ninth inning as the host Cleveland Guardians rallied for a 6-5 victory over the New York Yankees Saturday night in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Mr. Gonzalez got his third game-winning hit of the postseason when he grounded a 1-2 pitch off Clarke Schmidt (0-1) to score Steven Kwan and Amed Rosario to cap a three-run rally as the Guardians strung together five singles.
After fouling off two sliders, Mr. Gonzalez lined another slider up the middle to give Cleveland its third win in the last at-bat during the postseason. Mr. Gonzalez hit a game-ending homer in the 15th to beat Tampa Bay in the wild-card round and got the tiebreaking bloop single in the 10th inning Friday in New York.
Mr. Gonzalez’s hit came after Mr. Rosario hit an RBI single against Schmidt to bring Cleveland within 5-4. Jose Ramirez followed Mr. Rosario with a single against New York’s infield shift to load the bases after Wandy Peralta allowed consecutive one-out hits in his attempt at a seven-out save.
Mr. Gonzalez’s latest clutch hit gave the Guardians a 2-1 lead in the series. Cleveland can clinch its first trip to the ALCS since 2016 on Sunday night when Cal Quantrill is likely to oppose New York ace Gerrit Cole.
Josh Naylor and Kwan hit early RBI singles for Cleveland, which totaled 15 hits, including 13 singles and finished 9-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Aaron Judge and Oswaldo Cabrera hit two-run homers off Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie in the first five innings. Harrison Bader added a solo shot in the seventh off Sam Hentges, but the Yankees had just two at-bats with runners in scoring position throughout the game.
Eli Morgan (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to set up Cleveland’s dramatic rally.
New York’s Luis Severino settled in nicely after a shaky start to allow three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six, walked none and threw 106 pitches in an outing that saw him allow six hits through the first two innings.
Mr. McKenzie allowed four runs on four hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked one. — Reuters