Yankees 11, Indians 6
CLEVELAND (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians’ 18-game home winning streak came to a belated end today when they lost to the New York Yankees 11-6 in a game that had been suspended Friday night.
The victory, the Yankees’ fourth straight, moved them a half game ahead of Cleveland for the best record in the American League.
Three rain delays and the league’s 1 a.m. curfew forced the two teams to push back the final two innings of the game until today.
The Yankees led 9-5 after seven innings when the game was suspended at 1:18 a.m. They added two runs in the ninth against Jerry DiPoto on Jim Leyritz’s 11th home run and Mike Gallego’s run-scoring fielder’s choice.
The Indians scored a run in the ninth on a wild pitch by Donn Pall.
Rain fell through the final two innings, which preceded today’s scheduled game.
Cleveland’s 18 straight victories at Jacobs Field were a franchise record and the best home streak in baseball since Boston won a major league record 24 in a row at Fenway Park in 1988. The Indians hadn’t lost at home since May 1, when Texas beat them 5-4.
New York starter Terry Mulholland (6-6) won for the first time in a month, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Cleveland’s Mark Clark (8-2) lost for the first time since May 8, yielding five runs - one of them unearned - and six hits in three-plus innings.
Randy Velarde and Danny Tartabull had also homered for the Yankees, who scored at least one run in every inning from the second through the seventh.
Candy Maldonado and Albert Belle homered for Cleveland.
The start of the game Friday night was delayed by rain for two hours and 43 minutes. Showers that hit in the sixth inning then ended any chance the two teams had of beating the curfew.
AL rules prohibit any inning from beginning after 1 a.m. local time, except during a team’s final visit of the season.
″Bizarre night,″ Yankees manager Buck Showalter said. ″How’s that for a night at the yard?″
Sacrifice flies by Gallego and Paul O’Neill put the Yankees ahead 2-0 after three innings. They scored three in the fourth when Cleveland second baseman Carlos Baerga mishandled consecutive run-scoring grounders by Luis Polonia and Wade Boggs before Don Mattingly hit an RBI double.
Velarde hit a two-run homer off Derek Lilliquist in the fifth, and Tartabull hit his 13th home run in the sixth with nobody on. Leyritz drove in a run with a forceout in the seventh.
Cleveland scored a run on Omar Vizquel’s groundout in the third and added three in the sixth on Maldonado’s two-run homer and an RBI single by Jim Thome. Thome’s hit scored Eddie Murray, who had hit his 506th career double to tie Babe Ruth for 27th on the all-time list.
Notes:. The Yankees are 5-0 against the Indians this season, including a four-game sweep in New York last month. ... Leyritz’s home run was the first allowed by DiPoto in 47 big league appearances. DiPoto was recalled by the Indians this morning, three months after he had his cancerous thyroid gland removed. ...Velarde had four hits, matching his career high.