Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacoby Ellsbury and the sun helped the New York Yankees complete a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Ellsbury went 4-for-4 with an RBI and scored the game-winning run in the ninth inning when three Reds lost Brian McCann's routine fly ball in the sun to give the Yankees a 3-2 win.
Todd Frazier pulled the Reds even with a solo homer off Dellin Betances in the eighth inning, and with the score still even at 2-2 in the ninth, the club trotted out Aroldis Chapman in an effort to force extra innings.
Ellsbury led off with a workmanlike base hit against the closer, with all nine pitches of his at-bat coming in at over 100 m.p.h.
"I just tried to put a good at-bat together and put a ball in play," Ellsbury said of the long AB.
A steal of second and a wild pitch put Ellsbury on third, and after Mark Teixeira struck out, McCann sent a sky-high fly ball to the right side.
No one from the Reds took control in the field, as Frazier, Skip Schumaker and Jay Bruce all had trouble finding the ball through the sun and looked at each other in confusion as the ball bounced between them.
Frazier took blame for the deciding miscue.
"I got turned around and the wind brought (the ball) back a little bit," Frazier said. "I thought I was under it and I wasn't. By the time it was coming down, it was too late. ... I should have caught it."
Ellsbury scored without a throw and the Yankees opened their 10-game homestand with a much-needed sweep.
Hiroki Kuroda did not factor in the decision despite yielding only one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings. David Robertson (1-2) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to collect the victory.
Johnny Cueto only lasted five innings for Cincinnati and was charged with two runs on five hits and four walks. The early exit ended the All-Star's string of seven straight starts having pitched at least six innings.
The Reds broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Schumaker, fresh off the 7- day concussion disabled list, sent a ball just inside the right-field foul line and over the wall for a ground-rule double. Zack Cozart, who reached base on Brian Roberts's error, scored on the play, but the Yankees finally got to Cueto in the bottom half.
Cueto issued a pair of one-out walks to Kelly Johnson and Brett Gardner, and Derek Jeter and Ellsbury followed with run-scoring base hits to right field. Cueto stayed in and struck out Teixeira and McCann to keep it a one-run game.
In the eighth, Frazier fouled off a pair of 98-m.p.h. fastballs from Betances before turning on the third one and narrowly reaching the left-field seats with his 20th home run of the season.
The Yankees improved to 8-7 all-time against the Reds. No Major League team has a winning record against New York in the regular season ... New York went 13-7 in interleague play this season ... The Reds have dropped six straight on the road ... Frazier established a career high in homers.