NEW YORK — Fans in the right-field bleachers pelted Cleveland Guardians outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres notched run-scoring hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the New York Yankees to a 6-5 victory on Saturday.
Rather than a celebration, Aaron Judge and Yankees teammates rushed toward the wall in right-center field, trying to calm the crowd as security personnel joined the effort.
Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase (0-2) was one strike away from preserving a 5-4 lead when Kiner-Falefa hit a 100 mph fastball for a tying double. Rookie left fielder Steven Kwan ran hard into the wall chasing the ball and was shaken up, and trainer came out to check him.
Before play resumed, Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado pointed at the stands and center fielder Myles Straw climbed the chain-link fence in left to confront face-to-face at least one fan, while another fan nearby made a derogatory gesture.
“I don’t think people can throw stuff at our players on the field,” said Cleveland manager Terry Francona, admitting that the Guardians were a little emotional at the end of the game. “That’s never going to be OK.”
Torres followed by lining a single to right-center for the game-winner. As Mercado and Straw chased the ball in the gap, several fans began throwing objects at them.
“Obviously, there’s no place for throwing stuff on the field in that situation,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I’ll get more clarity on it, but obviously, we certainly don’t want to put anyone in danger.”
Yankees players, who first ran to meet Torres on the basepaths in celebration, then ran to the outfield spot to quell the disturbance.
“I didn’t know what was going on, but that can’t happen,” Kiner-Falefa, in his first season with the Yankees, said. “I love the atmosphere, I love the fans, I love everything about them, but we win with class.”
The Yankees won for the fourth time in five games and recorded their second walk-off win following a rare bullpen meltdown.
“We love the intensity,” Boone said. “But obviously, you cannot be throwing stuff out on the field.”
Chad Green allowed a two-run homer to Austin Hedges with two outs in the eighth that put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Miguel Castro (1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: ESPN MLB