CLEVELAND — Triston McKenzie shut down New York’s big-bashing lineup over seven superb innings in a combined one-hitter and closer Emmanuel Clase survived a harrowing ninth, giving the Cleveland Guardians a 2-0 win over the Yankees on Sunday.
Franmil Reyes drove in both Cleveland runs — homering in the fourth and hitting a clutch RBI single in the eighth — as the Guardians salvaged the series finale.
McKenzie (5-6) allowed only a broken-bat single to Josh Donaldson in the fourth. The right-hander, who has been hurt by giving up home runs this season, kept the ball in the park and the Yankees off balance.
Eli Morgan worked a 1-2-3 in the eighth before giving way to Clase, the AL’s top reliever in June. The Yankees loaded the bases with two outs on two walks — one to a pinch-hitting Aaron Judge — before Clase got Aaron Hicks to ground to second for the final out and his 19th save in 21 chances.
Hicks dropped to .138 (8 for 58) in his career with the bases loaded.
The Yankees lost for just the sixth time in 32 games since May 31.
New York won the first two games of the series, sweeping a doubleheader Saturday by a combined 19-5. Baseball’s best team seemed poised to take the entire three-game set and six-game season series against Cleveland.
But McKenzie, who had given up multiple homers in six of his previous eight outings, came through with a stellar start. He just walked one and struck out seven. He also helped the Yankees rested Judge and DJ LeMahieu.
Reyes homered leading off the fourth inning against Jordan Montgomery (3-2), who pitched well but didn’t get the run support, an unusual occurrence for a Yankees team winning at a record pace.
Reyes came through again in the eighth by grounding a single into right to score Amed Rosario after the Guardians had almost run themselves out of a threat.
The Yankees reached the 80-game mark at 58-22, the third-best start through that many games since 1930.
Reyes, who recently returned after missing 23 games with a strained hamstring, put the Guardians up 1-0 in the fourth with his sixth homer. Reyes turned on a 1-1 curveball, sending it over the wall in left field.
The Yankees didn’t start Judge, who leads the majors with 29 homers but didn’t connect during the series in Cleveland. Earlier this week, Judge joined Babe Ruth (32), Roger Maris (30) and Mickey Mantle (29) as the only players to homer 29 times in the team’s first 76 games.
Guardians star third baseman Jose Ramirez also got the day off. He’s been dealing with a sore thumb ligament and went 1 for 7 with four strikeouts Saturday.
The Yankees traded left-hander Manny Banuelos to Pittsburgh in exchange for cash considerations. Banuelos appeared in four games for New York, getting one save. He’s also been with the Braves and White Sox.
The Guardians re-claimed outfielder Oscar Mercado off waivers from Philadelphia during the game. Mercado was designated for assignment by Cleveland on June 21 and claimed by the Phillies six days later. He had one at-bat before being designated on July 1.
Yankees: RHP Domingo German (shoulder impingement) was scheduled to made his third rehab start, at Double-A Somerset, on Sunday as he works toward an expected return later this month. … Boone received good reports on RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder inflammation) after he threw batting practice in Tampa, Florida. Loaisiga is scheduled to have another session Tuesday.
Guardians: C Austin Hedges (concussion) remains sidelined. He took batting practice between games on Saturday, but has not yet been cleared to return.
Yankees: A holiday off in Pittsburgh before opening a three-game series Tuesday with RHP James Taillon (9-1, 3.32 ERA) facing LHP Jose Quintana.
Guardians: Play yet another doubleheader, their seventh, and this one in Detroit. Zach Plesac (2-5, 3.86) will start the opener against rookie Garret Hill, making his major league debut. LHP Konnor Pilkington (1-1, 4.31) starts the second game against RHP Alex Faedo (1-4, 4.84).