Yankees beat Indians in thriller, advance to meet Rays in ALDS
Joe Sargent / Major League Baseball / Getty

The New York Yankees held off the Cleveland Indians to sweep their wild-card series with a thrilling 10-9 win at Progressive Field on Wednesday.

DJ LeMahieu's grounder up the middle scored Gio Urshela with what turned out to be the series-winning run. The hit was part of a two-run Yankees rally off Indians closer Brad Hand.

It's the third time the Yankees have won a series-clinching game with a comeback in the ninth inning or later, according to YES Network's James Smyth. They last did it in 1977.

LeMahieu's heroics came a half-inning after Cleveland retook the lead with a rally of its own off Yankees relievers Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman got out of the eighth and kept it a one-run game by inducing a double play. The flamethrowing closer then ended Cleveland's season in the ninth by striking out three batters while working around a passed ball.

"That game was a lot of fun to be a part of," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. "I'm 47 years old. I've watched a lot of baseball and watched a lot of my dad's playoff games, been in some really big games, and I don't know how you top that one."

Yankees third baseman Urshela played hero for the Bronx Bombers all night. Urshela - who originally came up with the Indians - blasted a grand slam in the third inning, scored two runs, and turned a spectacular double play in the eighth that kept Cleveland's lead to one heading into the ninth.

"That was one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life," he told Newsday's Erik Boland.

The marathon contest started late due to rain, and was paused by another storm in the first inning. At four hours and 50 minutes, it's the longest nine-inning game in MLB playoff history, according to Smyth.

The two teams also combined to issue a playoff record-tying 19 walks, equaling the mark set by the Yankees and Milwaukee Braves in Game 3 of the 1957 World Series, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. Cleveland's 12 walks issued were the most by one team in a nine-inning playoff game, and is tied for the record in a game of any length, according to Smyth.

The Yankees advance to the ALDS, where they'll face the top-seeded Tampa Bay Rays in a best-of-five showdown at San Diego's Petco Park. It's the first playoff meeting between the AL East rivals, who got into a benches-clearing spat during their most recent meeting at Yankee Stadium in September.

For Cleveland, meanwhile, the wait will continue for another year. The loss extends the Indians' World Series drought to 72 years, with their last championship coming in 1948.

This was also the Indians' record 10th consecutive loss in an elimination game, according to Langs.

Yankees beat Indians in thriller, advance to meet Rays in ALDS
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