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Didi Gregorius Leads Yankees Past Indians and Into A.L.C.S.
Behind two home runs from their reluctant slugger, Didi Gregorius; a lockdown performance from reliever David Robertson;
and an epic late at-bat from Brett Gardner, the Yankees capped a resounding comeback in this American League division series Wednesday night with a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
And they mustered enough offense to overcome a grim series from Aaron Judge, who struck out four times on Wednesday and finished the series 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts, shattering the record for a playoff series of 13
that had been held by four other players: Ryan Howard, Jackson, Brandon Moss and Javier Baez.
As the Yankees celebrated their three-game-to-two series win, Jackson walked disconsolately back toward the third-base dugout in a second
consecutive crushing end to a season for the Indians, who have not won a World Series since 1948, the longest drought in baseball.
He hit both home runs in the first three innings off the Indians ace Corey Kluber;
Gregorius had entered Wednesday with two career hits (in 15 at-bats) off Kluber.
With runners at first and second, Lindor — who had a woeful series other than
his tide-turning grand slam in Game 2 — hit an 0-1 cutter back up the middle.
“I think back to a couple of years ago when we first got him and everybody in the stands every night was chanting Derek Jeter’s name,” Gardner said.
“I’m not going out to try to hit home runs every time.”
If the regular season, when he hit 25 home runs — breaking Jeter’s record for a Yankees
shortstop — was not enough to prompt a reconsideration, these playoffs have been.