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Criticized Sandy Alomar Jr. move pays off for Indians

Sandy Alomar Jr.'s controversial decision to pinch hit Jordan Luplow for Josh Naylor wound up helping the Cleveland Indians tie the New York Yankees.

CLEVELAND — Through the first two games of the American League Wild Card Series, there haven't been many batters hotter for the Cleveland Indians than Josh Naylor.

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So it shouldn't come as a surprise than Sandy Alomar Jr.'s decision to pinch-hit Jordan Luplow for Naylor in the bottom of the seventh inning in Wednesday's Game 2 was met with no shortage of criticism -- especially after the Yankees countered to bring in the right-handed Jonathan Loáisiga to avoid the righty-lefty batting matchup that Alomar was seeking.

But while the criticism Alomar received on social media seemed to happen for eternity, it came to a quick stop. With two runners on and the Indians trailing the Yankees 8-6 while facing elimination, Luplow sent a ball soaring to deep centerfield for a 2-run double that tied the game.

Luplow's heroics marked the latest in a back-and-forth game between Cleveland and New York in which the Indians are looking to avoid elimination and force a Game 3 on Thursday, while the Yankees are trying to advance to the American League Division Series. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning -- thanks in part to Naylor --  Cleveland saw its lead evaporate with New York taking a 6-4 lead and then an 8-6 lead.

Nevertheless, the Indians have managed to keep their season alive with the two teams still tied in the bottom of the eighth inning. For all of the latest from Game 2 of the American League Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on Wednesday, follow our live blog