USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND — When the the New York Yankees left Progressive Field last Friday night, they looked like a team on the verge of having its season end.
When the Yankees walked out of the same ballpark Wednesday night, they were smiling and headed to the airport for a flight to Houston and the American League Championship Series.
The Yankees finished their rally from a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-five American League Division Series with a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 as shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a pair of home runs. The Yankees and Astros begin the ALCS on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
That was quite a turn of events from five days earlier when the Yankees blew a five-run lead in Game 2 and lost 9-8 in 13 innings.
“There’s just a ton of fight in this club,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said when asked how his club rallied to beat the Indians, whose 102-60 record in the regular season was the best in the AL. “It’s a great mixture of youth and veteran players that are the leading the way and it’s hard to believe because we just beat a really, really good team.”
It was Gregorius, a young veteran, who set the tone by hitting a pair of home runs off Indians ace Corey Kluber to put the Yankees ahead 3-0. The 27-year-old hit a solo shot in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third off the favorite to win the AL Cy Young award.
Kluber was 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 29 regular-season starts. He led the AL in earned run average and tied for the league lead in victories.