CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona wanted starter Corey Kluber on the mound against the New York Yankees for a deciding Game 5 in the 2017 American League Division Series at Progressive Field, but the best-laid plans often go awry.
Kluber allowed three hits and three runs, all earned, along with two walks over 3.2 innings of work and left the game with the Indians facing a 3-0 deficit in the fourth inning of the winner-take-all contest. Of those three hits Kluber allowed, two were home runs off the bat of Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius.
Kluber fooled plenty of Yankees hitters in their first two times through the batting order, as evidenced by his six strikeouts, but Gregorius was not one of them.
For the second time in as many at-bats, Gregorius belted a home run to the seats in right field, the second of which was a two-run blast that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead over the Indians, who went hitless in their first three trips to the plate.
With left fielder Brett Gardner on first base after a lead-off single to right field, Gregorius smashed a knee-high curveball well over the wall in right field.
The Yankees were down to their final strike in the top of the first inning, but Gregorius delivered with a solo home run into the seats in right field for a 1-0 lead over the Indians.
On a 1-2 pitch from Kluber, Gregorius turned on the 94-mile-per-hour fastball on the inside part of the plate and belted it well into the first deck of seats at Progressive Field for his second home run of the 2017 postseason.
October 12, 2017
DIDI GREGORIUS GONE!
Prior to Game 5 of the ALDS, Gregorius was hitting just .125 with two hits in 16 at-bats over five games, but one of those hits was a home run. Additionally, Gregorius had three RBI, two runs scored, seven walks and just four strikeouts in five postseason games this season.