Yanks fans bombard Cleveland outfielders with debris after win
The only catch Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado managed to make in the ninth inning was a beer can thrown at his face.
Some fans in the notoriously rowdy right-field stands at Yankee Stadium pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene Saturday, moments after New York rallied for a 5-4 victory.
Rather than celebrate after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth, stars Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and other New York players rushed to the wall in right center field, trying to calm the crowd. .
Security personnel joined in the effort to quell the unrest.
“You certainly don’t want to put anyone in danger. I love intensity, but you can’t throw stuff on the field,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Emmanuel Clase (0-2), closer to Cleveland, was one stroke away from holding a 4-3 lead when Kiner-Falefa hit a 100mph fastball for an even double. Rookie left fielder Steven Kwan ran hard against the wall chasing the ball and a coach came out to control it.
“Kwan was a little shaken up and had cuts on his face and there was one specific Yankees fan in left field celebrating Kwan’s injury,” Mercado said. “It’s almost like it’s acts of violence. You can’t say stuff like that, especially when someone gets hurt.
“I just let him know, ‘Listen man, you can tweet all you want but don’t celebrate somebody getting hurt. It’s classless and it shouldn’t be a thing,” he said. “You can cheer for your team all you want, I don’t deny that. Honestly, it’s good for the game when there are die-hard fans, but do it the right way.
Before play resumed, Mercado pointed to the stands and centre-back Myles Straw scaled the chain-link fence on the left to confront at least one fan face-to-face, while another fan nearby made a derogatory gesture .
“I think Myles was defending his teammate,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “The kid is bleeding and we’re checking him for a concussion, and I think the emotions have probably gotten a little out of control.”
Torres followed by fielding a single to right center for the game winner. As Mercado and Straw chased the ball into space, several fans began throwing objects at them.
“One of them approached my face and I grabbed it. It was a can of beer,” Mercado said.
“They need to be held accountable and I think there should be rules set for that because it’s ridiculous and it shouldn’t happen,” he said. “Say what you mean and do what you want to do, but ultimately there have to be consequences for behavior like this.”
He added, “I appreciate the Yankees players coming out and trying to control them and I have a lot of respect for that.”
The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games and picked up their second win after a rare bullpen collapse. The final scene was not what they wanted.
“That can’t happen. I love the fans, I love the atmosphere, but we win with class,” said Kiner-Falefa.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo said: “Our fans are passionate, they make noise every night and we enjoyed that. When the beers start flying, you just want to control everyone as best you can so things don’t get worse.”
Chad Green gave Austin Hedges a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth that put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Miguel Castro (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer off Nestor Cortes for Cleveland’s only hit in 6 1/3 innings against the crafty southpaw.
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 COVID-19 IL. General manager Mike Chernoff did not have an update. … RHP James Karinchak (shoulder) is expected to pitch a bullpen at the spring training complex in Arizona this weekend. … C Luke Maile (strained left hamstring) is scheduled 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 at Detroit. He matched his career high by five walks and allowed two runs and a hit, throwing just 37 of 68 pitches for strikes. “We were going to really perfect pitches, I think probably too often, and I think in some situations if I attacked the area better, we would have been in a better position,” Cole said on Saturday.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports