The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Blown opportunity dooms Indians in 5-4 14-inning loss to Yankees
CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians let their best opportunity get away Wednesday night, and it cost them the game.
After failing to score with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th, Cleveland fell to the New York Yankees 5-4 in 14 innings.
The game took 4 hours, 51 minutes and featured a second seventh-inning stretch before the Indians' final at-bat.
Jacoby Ellsbury's two-out homer off Vinnie Pestano (0-1) in the top of the 14th was the difference, but the Indians paid the price for not ending the game four innings earlier.
David Huff walked Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall — all on 3-2 pitches — to load the bases with one out.
The crowd of 21,727 was on its feet in anticipation of a walk-off win, but it didn't happen. Shawn Kelley struck out Nick Swisher, who had a two-run single in the first inning, and retired David Murphy on a groundout.
"In the 10th we had the bases loaded and one out and Swish up there," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He checked his swing on a ball in the dirt, and that was it."
The Indians had one final chance against Yankees closer David Robertson.
Chris Dickerson flied out before Jason Kipnis singled and stole second in the 14th. After Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, Brantley lofted a popup into foul territory. Third baseman Kelly Johnson tried to make the catch with his back to home plate, but the ball hit off his glove and fell to the ground.
Brantley then sent a fly ball to left, but Zoilo Almonte, who was called up from Triple-A before the game, made a running catch over his head in front of the warning track.
"In the 14th we had the guys we wanted at the plate," Francona said. "I'll take those guys up there every time."
Chase Whitley (4-2) pitched two scoreless innings while Robertson recorded his 22nd save.
Swisher's two-run single was the key hit when Cleveland scored three unearned runs.
Josh Tomlin allowed four runs in seven innings for the Indians. The right-hander has given up 13 home runs in 77 innings.
Cleveland's bullpen pitched 6 2-3 scoreless innings until Pestano allowed the home run. Cody Allen struck out Ichiro Suzuki with two on to end the 10th.
"You get in a game like that, and when you're at home you feel like you have an advantage," Francona said. "Everything (with the relievers) pretty much went right. They did what they were supposed to do."
Marc Rzepczynski retired Johnson on a groundout in the 14th and was relieved by Pestano. Brendan Ryan flied out before Ellsbury delivered.
"Vinnie got up 0-2 and tried to bury a breaking ball, but left it over the plate and that was the game," Francona said.
Mark Teixeira of the Yankees hit a solo homer in the fourth and a two-run blast in the fifth.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was grateful to come out on the winning end.
"It's much, much better," he said. "That's a tough game to lose for either side because both bullpens did an exceptional job and it came down to one big hit."
Brandon McCarthy, acquired in a trade with Arizona on Sunday, allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings in his Yankees debut. The first-inning runs were all unearned thanks to first baseman Teixeira's throwing error.
Before the game, New York placed rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka, who leads the majors with 12 wins, on the 15-day disabled list due to right elbow inflammation. The All-Star had an MRI in New York on Wednesday.
NOTES: Francona said RHP Zach McAllister, currently pitching at Triple-A Columbus, will start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. McAllister is taking the rotation spot of RHP Justin Masterson (right knee inflammation). ... Masterson threw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... RHP David Phelps (3-4) starts for the Yankees against LHP T.J. House (1-2) in Thursday's series finale.
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