Another day, another Yankees win — and another dustup with the umpires.
Aaron Boone, CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner were all tossed with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 6-5 win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon in a chaotic scene at the Stadium after Cameron Maybin was called out on a low strike for the second out.
Boone was quickly tossed by home plate umpire Ben May, another minor league umpire called up for the game.
As bench coach Josh Bard argued with May, Sabathia was also ejected, as was Gardner — by first base umpire Phil Cuzzi, who ran over to the Yankees’ dugout — for once again banging his bat into the top of the dugout to express his displeasure.
Gardner had been ejected for the same routine in Toronto last week, while Boone’s outburst was reminiscent of his infamous “savages” tirade directed at another minor league ump, Brennan Miller, last month.
Their anger with the umps didn’t stop the Yankees from winning for the seventh time in eight games and overcoming another rocky outing from James Paxton.
Paxton had his latest atrocious first inning. He walked Francisco Lindor to lead off the game and Oscar Mercado sent a double deep into the gap in right-center. Carlos Santana followed with a single up the middle to drive in both runners and give the Indians a 2-0 lead, eliciting the first boos of the day.
Paxton has allowed 27 first-inning runs in his 22 starts, for an ERA of 11.05.
As usual, Paxton immediately bounced back and cruised through a seven-pitch second inning, retiring the side in order.
Indians right-hander Zach Plesac retired the first five batters he faced before Maybin drew a two-out walk in the second. Mike Tauchman singled to left with Maybin going on the pitch. Mercado flubbed the ball in left, allowing Maybin to score all the way from first, but Tauchman was thrown out going to second.
The Yankees tied the game in the third. Romine flared a single to right and was forced out at second on a Thairo Estrada groundout. After Gardner struck out looking, Estrada swiped second with DJ LeMahieu at the plate and LeMahieu knocked him in with a single to left to make it 2-2. LeMahieu moved to second on Mercado’s second error of the day when his throw home, in an attempt to get Estrada, eluded catcher Kevin Plawecki. LeMahieu, however, was stranded at second.
Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first lead when he opened the bottom of the fourth with a homer into the second deck in right for a 3-2 lead. Gleyber Torres followed Gregorius’ blast with one of his own to right-center, as the Yankees went up, 4-2.
Paxton retired 13 of the next 14 hitters after the first inning walk to Puig. Lindor doubled down the left-field line with two outs in the fifth. Paxton then walked Mercado on four pitches before Santana singled to left to knock in Lindor and cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-3.
Puig tied the game again with another RBI single.
LeMahieu pushed the Yankees ahead again in the bottom of the inning, when he hit a two-out, opposite-field homer that ended Plesac’s afternoon.
Torres padded the lead with his second homer of the day, which reached the bleachers in left.
But after the ejections, the Yankees had to play the last three innings short-handed, as Mike Ford replaced Gardner in the lineup and Estrada moved from second base to right field, with LeMahieu switching to second.
Zack Britton entered in the eighth and gave up a double to Puig and a single to Ramirez and then unleashed a wild pitch that scored Puig and got Ramirez to third, as the Indians pulled to within a run.
A walk to Kipnis gave the Indians runners on the corners for Plawecki. But Britton got a grounder to LeMahieu at second, who turned an inning-ending double play.
Aroldis Chapman tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his second save in as many days.