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Division Series Day 6 Wrap-Up: Yankees Force Game 5

Baseball on the Infield Chalk Line with the Base in the distance

The Cleveland Guardians had a chance to clinch an American League Championship Series berth with a victory at home on Sunday night. However, their opponents, the New York Yankees, were not about to go away easily and dispatched Cleveland to ensure that a decisive Game 5 would be played on Monday night.

New York 4, Cleveland 2

WP: Gerrit Cole

LP: Cal Quantrill

The Yankees offense got to work against Quantrill immediately with Anthony Rizzo‘s 1st inning RBI single and Harrison Bader‘s 2nd inning home run. Bader is just two postseason home runs away from tying his regular season output of five dingers, all with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The game’s most memorable moment occurred for the losing side. In the 4th inning, Josh Naylor clubbed Cole’s 98 mph four-seamer to the right center field bleachers atop the Guardians bullpen. As Naylor rounded first base, he laced his hands together and swung his arms side-to-side in a “rock the baby” motion, taunting Cole as he headed towards second base. While Naylor was reportedly calling Cole his “little f-ing son,” his celebration was somewhat reminiscent of the Sam Cassell “big balls” dance.

Naylor’s home run narrowed the Cleveland deficit to one run, but the Yankees got one back on Giancarlo Stanton‘s 6th inning sacrifice fly. Cole went deep, pitching seven innings of two-run ball. The New York bullpen held the lead this time, and the Yankees will host a decisive Game 5 at home on Monday with a more rested relief corps. Game time will again be 7:07 PM ET. Aaron Civale will take the ball for Cleveland against Jameson Taillon.