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Indians Lose Second Straight at Home; Fall to Yankees 5-4 in Series Opener

CLEVELAND – The Indians look like a team in need of a break after a successful first half, but Thursday night in their first game of a four-game set against the New York Yankees at home, they just didn’t have that one big hit in falling to the Yankees 5-4.

New York was able to get five runs off Indians starter Trevor Bauer after he sailed through the first four innings without a blemish as the Indians went up 2-0.

Bauer with the loss falls to 7-3 on the season, it’s his first recorded loss since May 21st when he allowed four runs on eight hits in a 9-1 loss at Boston.

“Gave up a lot of weak singles,” Bauer said. “Best combination of stuff and command I’ve had in a long time.”

Like Josh Tomlin on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers, he dominated early, but seemed to wear down as the Yankees got to him with two in the 5th and three in the sixth to get the win while handing him the loss.

“They were aggressive with his fastball,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of Bauer. “It looked like too many of his fastballs caught too much of the plate.”

With the setback the Indians fall to 51-34 on the season, and are now 25-14 at Progressive Field.

The Yankees, who have been scuffling all season, move back to a game under .500 at 42-43 on the season.

Things started good for the Tribe, as they built a 2-0 lead off Ivan Nova with a pair of homers in the 3rd. The first came from outfielder Tyler Nauqin, who smashed his 8th of the season, gaining his 20th RBI.

Jason Kipnis then hit his 12th home run of the season, three batters later, and the Indians seemed to be rolling.

Indians YankeesThings got tighter as the Yankees came back to tie the game with a pair of runs in the 5th, the first from shortstop Didi Gregorius who homered to right, his career-high 10th blast of the year to make it 2-1.

New York wasn’t done, as they put runners on and with two outs Brett Gardner singled to center, scoring Chase Headley to tie it at two.

They drove Bauer out of the game in the 6th, as they got RBI’s from Headley, Rob Refsnyder and Jacoby Ellsbury to put up three runs total to take a 5-2 lead.

The Indians rallied for two in the bottom of the inning to send Nova to the showers. They got back-to-back doubles from Carlos Santana and Kipnis, and plated both of them, one on a wild pitch and another on a RBI ground out by Mike Napoli to make it 5-4.

That would be it for the Tribe, as Andrew Miller pitched the 8th and closer Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless 9th to stop the Indians and take home the win.

It didn’t come easy for Chapman, as Indians got a walk to Napoli and a base hit by Juan Uribe to put two on with one out. Rajai Davis though flied to left and Naquin grounded out to end the game in a play that was reviewed and overturned.

“It’s what we’ve been doing all year, grinding out at bats, trying to get deep into counts and doing what we can,” Napoli said. “It’s a tough one but we’ll get back after it tomorrow.”

Friday at Progressive Field the Indians will send All-Star Corey Kluber (8-8, 3.79) to the mound against Chad Green (1-1, 4.09) for the Yankees.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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