CLEVELAND (AP) — There were quality at-bats. There was energy. There was urgency.
For one of the first times in this young season, the New York Yankees played up to their payroll.
“Tonight we showed what we are,” shortstop Gleyber Torres said after the Yankees shook off a rough first inning and rallied for a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.
Rougned Odor’s two-out, two-run single broke a seventh-inning tie — and maybe jarred New York from its hitting funk — as the Yankees won for the second time in eight games and at least temporarily eased concerns of their passionate fans.
“We’ve kind of been searching for that hit for a while now,” manager Aaron Boone said of Odor’s clutch single. “To deliver it there was huge. Just a huge hit for us.”
Odor was batting just .107 and in a 3-for-28 slide when he came up against Nick Wittgren (0-1) in a 3-3 tie. He slapped his single through the middle to score Aaron Judge and Torres as the Yankees recovered from a 3-0 deficit in the first.
“I like those situations,” Odor said.
Kyle Higashioka homered in the eighth for New York, which entered with its worst record to open a season since 1991, when Stump Merrill managed and Don Mattingly manned first base.
Domingo Germán (1-2) returned from a demotion to the alternate training site and shook off his own error in the first to last six innings. The right-hander won for the first time since serving a suspension under baseball’s domestic violence policy that started in September 2019 and ended his season with an 18-4 record.
Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green combined for two innings of relief, and Aroldis Chapman struck out the side around a walk in the ninth for his third save.
Torres picked up three hits, one…