An RBI double by Lou Piniella and a run-scoring triple by Darryl Jones in the eighth inning helped New York hold off Cleveland tonight and the Yankees escaped with a 3-2 victory over the Indians.

Leading, 1-0, New York scored twice in the eighth when Graig Nettles walked and scored on Piniella's double off reliever Dan Spillner. Sid Monge then came in and retired Chris Chambliss before surrendering a run-scoring triple to Jones.

The Indians struck for two runs in the ninth off New York reliever Ron Davis. Toby Harrah singled and one out later Andre Thornton followed with a base hit. Mike Hargrove singled in Thornton. Don Hood replaced Davis and gave up a run-scoring single to Rick Manning. Ray Burris and Ken Clay finished up as the Yankees used four relievers in the final inning.

New York starter Catfish Hunter (1-5) was relieved in the seventh by Jim Kaat. Cleveland starter Eric Wilkins (2-4) went three innings, leaving when his arm tightened after a 29-minute rain delay in the middle of the fourth.

The Yankees scored their first run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Mickey Rivers.