Mussina, who won his first seven starts this year with a 1.70 ERA, is just 3-6 in his last 11 outings. The veteran right-hander yielded four runs and eight hits in seven innings of a 10-3 loss at Toronto on July 12 in his last start.
Mussina endured a similar skid earlier this season, going 0-4 in five starts from May 13-June 4 before bouncing back with three straight wins.
The Yankees have won four straight, and are bidding for their first four-game sweep of Cleveland since June 21-23, 1996, at Jacobs Field. New York has not swept a four-game set from the Indians at home since Sept. 8-11, 1994.
Jason Giambi’s three-run single in the fifth inning highlighted Saturday’s 7-4 win for the Yankees. Derek Jeter scored all the way from first on the grounder up the middle as New York rallied from behind for the third straight day.
“I take a lot of pride in running the bases,” Jeter said. “My mindset is always to take the extra base. It was a big run.”
STANDINGS: Indians - 4th place, 12 1/2 GB, AL Central. Yankees - 1st place, AL East.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Jake Westbrook (4-4, 4.34 ERA). Westbrook, a former Yankee prospect who was dealt to Cleveland in 2000, was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday, posting a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in the second game of a doubleheader. The right-hander yielded one run and three hits over five solid innings. Westbrook has not had much success against his former team, yielded 10 runs and 12 hits over eight innings in three career relief appearances.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Mussina (10-6, 3.26 ERA). Mussina is 7-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 career starts against the Indians. He is 5-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 10 home starts this year.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Bradley, .321 avg., 51 runs and 15 SBs.; Matt Lawton, 15 HRs and 47 RBIs. Yankees - Hideki Matsui, .300 avg.; Giambi, 28 HRs and 79 RBIs; Alfonso Soriano, 76 runs and 25 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Yankees, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - Cleveland has not lost five straight since an eight-game skid at the end of April. … INF John McDonald is 3-for-5 with a double in his career against RHP Mussina. … The Indians have dropped six straight at Yankee Stadium dating to last season. Yankees - Newly acquired RHP Armando Benitez has tossed 2 2-3 scoreless innings in his first two appearances for the Yankees, but needed RHP Mariano Rivera to bail him out of an eighth-inning jam Saturday. Rivera has converted 17 of 18 save opportunities this year. … 2B Soriano hit his ninth leadoff homer of the season Saturday, matching Rickey Henderson’s club mark, established in 1986. … 1B Giambi, who also drove in three runs Friday, has 49 RBIs in his last 51 games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 19-31 on the road; Yankees - 28-19 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - SS Omar Vizquel (knee), 15-day DL; OF Lawton (finger), 15-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL. Yankees - 1B-DH Nick Johnson (hand), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL.