Hafner homers against former club, Yanks down Indians
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Travis Hafner belted a three-run homer in his first at-bat back in Cleveland, helping the New York Yankees spoil the Indians' home opener with an 11-6 win at Progressive Field.
Hafner, who spent the previous 10 years with the Indians, received a nice pregame ovation from the fans before tormenting his old club with a first- inning blast off Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1). He then broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in the third and also drew two walks.
"It was nice to come here and have a good game and help contribute to a win," Hafner said.
Robinson Cano clubbed two solo homers while going 3-for-4 with a walk and four runs scored for the Yankees, who have won two games in a row for the first time this season, improving their record to 3-4.
New York starter Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) overcame a shaky first inning to pitch into the sixth. Kuroda lasted just 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the season against Boston after suffering a bruised right middle finger when he tried to grab a Shane Victorino liner.
Jimenez allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings for Cleveland, which went 3-3 on its season-opening road trip.
"Today was one of those days where I thought he fought his mechanics a little bit," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said about Jimenez.
The Indians answered Hafner's homer to center field with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
Michael Bourn led off with a walk and took third when Asdrubal Cabrera's grounder up the middle caromed off the second base bag. Jason Kipnis' sacrifice fly to right field put Cleveland on the board, and back-to-back singles by former Yankee Nick Swisher and Michael Brantley scored Cabrera.
After catcher Carlos Santana drew a walk to load the bases, Mark Reynolds tied the game with a sac fly to left.
The Yankees, however, scored in five straight frames from the third to go up 11-3.
New York regained the lead when Hafner drove home Cano, who led off the third with a double. Cano entered Monday's contest, the opener of a four-game set, without an extra-base hit this season.
Brett Gardner plated Chris Stewart with a two-out single in the fourth, then Cano homered to left-center to begin the fifth.
A one-out walk to Hafner later in the inning prompted a pitching change. Matt Albers took over on the mound and gave up hits to the first two batters he faced, with Ichiro Suzuki's single knocking in Hafner.
Cano went deep again with two outs in the sixth before the Yankees pushed three more runs across in the seventh.
The Indians failed to score after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but Mike Aviles' two-run homer highlighted Cleveland's three-run eighth.
Hafner's home run was his 100th at Progressive Field ... Santana left the game in the ninth after taking a Chris Perez pitch off his left wrist ... Kuroda gave up three runs on five hits, while walking four and striking out six in 5 1/3 innings ... The Indians have lost five straight home openers ... The Yankees took five of six from the Indians last season.
04/08 21:39:08 ET