|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 05 October 2007 16:45|
Helped by a freakish invasion of bombarding bugs that rattled rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning, the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat the Yankees 2-1 in 11 innings Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.
Travis Hafner's bases-loaded, RBI single with two outs in the 11th scored Kenny Lofton with the winner.
Lunacy. Surreal. Hitchcockian. Call it whatever you'd like. October baseball has rarely witnessed anything close to it.
After Chamberlain's wild pitch in the eighth gave Cleveland the tying run, the Indians won it three innings later.
Lofton, a gnat-like nuisance to the Yankees so far in this series, walked on four pitches to lead off the 11th against Luis Vizcaino. Franklin Gutierrez failed twice to get down a sacrifice before hitting a single.
Casey Blake moved the runners up with a bunt before the Yankees walked Grady Sizemore to load the bases. Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera missed his chance at being a hero by popping up right in front of the plate.
Seconds later, the Indians were swarming Hafner.
Cleveland's designated hitter lined a single on a 3-2 pitch to right-center - making Cleveland 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position - and was mobbed by his teammates as an exhausted crowd of 44,732 towel-waving fans celebrated a win they'll talk about for years to come.
Rafael Perez tossed two scoreless innings to get the win.