|Yankees get to Indians starter Jake Westbrook after manager Eric Wedge leaves him in|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 08 October 2007 02:10|
Those few extra batters for Westbrook may have been just the opening the New York Yankees needed to get back into their AL division series.
Westbrook fell apart in the fifth inning Sunday night and left in the sixth as the Yankees rallied for an 8-4 win over Cleveland. New York avoided elimination with its Game 3 win and found its stride at the plate thanks in part to Wedge's slow hook.
Westbrook gave up at least one hit in each of the first three innings but his defense turned three double plays behind him to keep the Yankees offense in check.
Cleveland led 3-1 in the fifth but Westbrook couldn't hold on against his former team. He struck out Jason Giambi leading off but then surrendered four straight hits. Johnny Damon capped the four-run rally with a three-run homer to right with one out.
``One thing about Jake, he can always put the ball on the ground,'' Wedge said. ``He got a ball up to Damon, and Johnny did a good job with it. It's really what happened prior to that where we could have done a little bit better job of controlling damage.''
Westbrook finished the inning, and came out to work the sixth. Alex Rodriguez led off with a single and Wedge then decided to go to his outstanding bullpen, replacing Westbrook with Aaron Fultz.
By then, it was too late. The Yankees pushed across three runs on Robinson Cano's RBI single and right fielder Trot Nixon's error to make it 8-3.
Westbrook, who was making his first postseason appearance, is 0-3 with an 11.85 ERA in three starts against New York this year.
``They came out with a different approach in the fifth inning and I didn't mix it up like I was supposed to,'' said Westbrook, who was dealt by the Yankees to Cleveland in 2000. ``It cost us. You got to stay away from a big inning, especially against these guys and in the playoffs.''
Cleveland's relievers tossed six scoreless innings in the first two games of the series, and turned in another nice effort in the Bronx. Aaron Fultz allowed two unearned runs but Jensen Lewis struck out the side in a perfect seventh and Joe Borowski pitched a scoreless eighth.
The Indians were sixth in the majors with a 3.73 bullpen ERA this season.