Guardians cap homestand that began with total solar eclipse by rallying to shock Yankees 8-7 in 10

Cleveland Guardians' Andres Gimenez celebrates after hitting a walkoff sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Guardians began their first homestand staring at the sky in awe. They ended it with a stunning show on the field.

First a total solar eclipse, then a remarkable comeback against the New York Yankees.

Cleveland capped a memorable opening week at Progressive Field on Sunday by scoring three runs in the 10th inning f or an 8-7 win to salvage the finale of a three-game series against baseball’s top team.

It’s early, way too early to make any broad declarations about the Guardians. But at 10-5, and having won four of their first five series, they’ve already surpassed expectations while showing grit, togetherness and resilience.

“This whole homestand, we fought back,” first-year manager Stephen Vogt said. “We’re not going to quit. That’s one of the things I heard the boys yelling on the way back up to the clubhouse, ‘We don’t quit! We don’t quit!’ And that’s what this group is about.”

After falling behind 7-5 in the top of the 10th and on the verge of being swept, the Guardians scratched and scrapped their way back, scoring three runs on a forceout, fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly.

Not pretty. Just pretty effective.

“We just keep coming,” said utilityman extraordinaire David Fry, who hit a key double in the 10th, moments after turning in a jaw-dropping defensive play.

The Yankees went ahead by two runs in the 10th on Anthony Rizzo’s two-run single, and New York might have added more except for Fry and catcher Bo Naylor teaming up on a dazzling double play.

With runners at second and third and one out, New York’s Alex Verdugo hit a hard grounder to Fry, who had shifted to first base after catching the first five innings. Fry fielded the ball on the edge of the grass and fired home to Naylor, who applied a swipe tag to get the lead runner sliding by.

In one motion, Naylor spun and threw back to Fry, who retreated to the bag and dug out a low throw.

It went 3-2-3 in the scorebook.

Vogt, a former All-Star catcher, gave it a perfect 10.

“That’s two unbelievably athletic, heads-up people making a play,” Vogt said. “The amount of athleticism and baseball IQ in that play probably won’t get talked about enough. That should be No. 1 on SportsCenter, MLB, whatever the top plays are, that should be the top play today.”

Like Vogt, Fry appreciated all the nuance in Naylor’s effort.

“That’s a super-tough play for Bo,” Fry said. “Being able to play catcher, I know that’s not the first thing on your mind. Your first thing is, ‘I got to get this out right here.’ But for him to have the presence of mind to whip around and get the double play was huge.”

The play seemed to spark the Guardians, who then responded with a comeback they followed by splashing each other with water during an on-field celebration.

It’s been quite a baptism for Vogt, whose first weeks as Cleveland’s new manager have included a 7-2 road trip, late-inning comebacks, two extra-inning victories and a once-in-generations celestial event.

At one point in the 10th inning, Vogt soaked it all in.

“I just started smiling,” he said, “like this is awesome.”


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