CLEVELAND — He’s just Chase Headley, beloved Yankee, offensive savior.
Headley, who came in hitting .351 since the All-Star break, broke a 1-1 tie with a one-out solo shot to right in the eighth inning, and the Yankees snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Indians on Saturday night at Progressive Field. It was Headley’s sixth homer of the year.
Aroldis Chapman had a shaky ninth back where he blew Game 7 of the World Series. But Brett Gardner made a sensational leaping catch at the wall in left to rob Jose Ramirez of extra bases after Michael Brantley led off the ninth with a single. Ronald Torreyes followed with a terrific running catch of his own on Edwin Encarnacion’s blooper to short right. And Chapman struck out Carlos Santana to end the game after he ripped a deep drive to right that just went foul.
No Bad News Bombers this time around.
Earlier, Jordan Montgomery pitched like a guy that doesn’t want to leave the rotation.
The 24-year-old rookie lefty gave up just one run on three hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out seven. He left after just 65 pitches. The Yankees haven’t specified an innings limit on Montgomery, but it could’ve been an innings limit-related move. Montgomery is at 115 innings — 37 fewer than his career-high of 152 set last season (including playoffs).
Carlos Santana hit a solo homer off Montgomery with one out in the second, but that was it.
Danny Salazar struck out a career-high 12 over seven innings for the Indians.
Matt Holliday (11-for-81 in the second half) may have to go on the disabled list due to a back injury. Gary Sanchez — who served as the DH with Austin Romine catching Montgomery as is typically the case — went 0-for-3 with a walk and is 1-for-10 in the first three games of the series with a homer.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jacoby Ellsbury ran in and made a diving catch on Brandon Guyer’s shallow fly ball to center for the first out of the sixth.
Didi Gregorius just missed hitting a three-run homer in the first inning. The ball struck just below the top of the right-centerfield wall, so Gregorius had to settle for an RBI double.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Chase Headley, who has overcome his awful May and position change with aplomb.
STAT OF THE GAME
Aaron Judge (1-for-4, 2 Ks) has struck out at least once in 23 straight games — the longest streak in the majors this season. This is the first time four straight starters have thrown seven or more innings and given up one or fewer runs against the Yankees since 1960, according to YES Network.
David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman provided four shutout innings in relief of Jordan Montgomery.
Gary Sanchez, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk..
Sunday at Cleveland, 1:10 p.m.
Luis Severino (8-4, 2.98 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 3.89)
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