CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Santana’s two-run homer in the sixth inning helped rookie Zach Plesac get his first major league win and sent the Cleveland Indians to a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees, who welcomed back shortstop Didi Gregorius on Friday night.
Santana broke a 2-all tie by connecting on a change-up from Domingo German (9-2), trying to become baseball’s first 10-game winner.
Making just his third start, Plesac (1-1) settled down after a few anxious innings and stifled the AL East’s top team. The Yankees, who are just 1-3 so far on a six-game trip, managed just six hits — and only two after the third — in seven innings against the right-hander and nephew of former major leaguer Dan Plesac.
Nick Wittgren worked a perfect eighth and Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth — New York’s 3-4-5 hitters — for his 19th save in 19 tries.
Tyler Naquin also homered for the Indians, who took two of three from Central-leading Minnesota and are trying to stay in contention while waiting for three full-time starters to return from injuries.
Jason Kipnis had two RBIs for Cleveland.
Gregorius got two hits playing for the first time since Game 4 of last year’s AL Division series against Boston when he injured his elbow making a throw. He underwent Tommy John surgery, and made a quick return to the Yankees, who have kept winning despite numerous major injuries.
Rays 5, Red Sox 1
BOSTON — Yonny Chirinos pitched two-hit ball for eight scoreless innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped Boston’s four-game winning streak.
Kevin Kiermaier homered and drove in four runs and Ji-Man Choi also homered for the Rays, who didn’t need much offense to front Chirinos in the longest outing of his career.
Chirinos (7-2) had never gone more than 7 1-3 innings before stifling the Red Sox. He cruised through the first five innings on just 50 pitches and didn’t allow a baserunner or hit until the sixth.
Chirinos struck out six and walked two before Emilio Pagan took over in the ninth. Boston broke up the shutout with doubles by Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts.
The Rays tagged Rick Porcello (4-6) for four runs on eight hits in six innings in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Rockies 5, Mets 1
NEW YORK — Ian Desmond got plunked in the back by a pitch from New York rookie Drew Gagnon immediately after two colossal Colorado homers, leading to a bench-clearing scrum late in the Rockies’ victory.
The bullpens emptied and players from both sides milled together during two separate dustups, but there did not appear to be any serious pushing or shoving and no punches were thrown.
Antonio Senzatela (5-4) outpitched Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and Colorado got homers from David Dahl and Daniel Murphy in a three-run eighth inning. That made it 5-1, and the Rockies went on to their 10th win in 12 games. Senzatela gave up one run and four hits in six innings without a strikeout.
Rockies closer Wade Davis, just off the injured list, worked a scoreless ninth.
Two batters before Murphy connected, Dahl hit a titanic two-run homer off Gagnon deep into the second deck in right to make it 4-1.
Michael Conforto homered for the Mets, and deGrom (3-6) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out 10.
Raimel Tapia hit an RBI double off deGrom in the third, and Desmond added a run-scoring single in the fourth.