CLEVELAND — Jacoby Ellsbury to the rescue.
The $ 153-million man came through with a rare big hit on Sunday afternoon, delivering a three-run triple with two outs in the sixth inning that propelled the Yankees to an 8-1 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field. Ellsbury, who came in hitting .128 since the All-Star break, finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Bombers wound up splitting their four-game series with the defending AL champions after losing on Thursday and Friday.
Emerging ace Luis Severino was terrific yet again, striking out nine over 6.2 innings of one-run, two-hit, one-walk ball. Severino is 4-0 in his last five starts with a 0.83 ERA.
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Aaron Judge added his 35th homer — a three-run shot with one out in the seventh.
The Yankees will throw CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray in Toronto, with the rest of the rotation to be determined.
The story before the game was Gary Sanchez being out of the lineup and not catching for a second straight game due to his defensive woes behind the plate.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jacoby Ellsbury’s three-run triple that gave the Yankees 4-1 lead with two outs in the sixth. It was the jolt the Bombers needed following Chase Headley’s go-ahead solo shot in the eighth on Saturday night.
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With the Yankees trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Brett Gardner singled and Clint Frazier doubled to open the frame, which led to a five-run inning in which the team batted around.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jacoby Ellsbury, who deserves it on this day after losing his starting job.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Yankees scored five runs in the sixth inning — the same amount of runs they’d scored in the previous four games combined.
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Luis Severino, who has emerged as the ace of the Bombers. His season ERA stands at 2.91 — fourth in the AL.
Austin Romine, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in place of Gary Sanchez.
Tuesday at Toronto, 7:07 p.m. CC Sabathia (9-4, 3.81 ERA) vs. JA Happ (4-8, 3.92)
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