Coming off a sweep at the hands of their fiercest rival, the Yankees look to continue their success against the AL Central-leading Indians in the opener of this four-game wraparound series Friday night.
New York (33-27) has dropped 10 of 14 at home after getting swept in three games by Boston to relinquish the AL East lead. The Yankees dropped two games behind the first-place Red Sox with Thursday’s 8-3 loss, which was delayed 3 hours, 27 minutes by rain.
“It’s not how you wanted it to end tonight, it did and you’ve got to move on,” manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees can do that as they enter the second series of this challenging homestand, which concludes with three games against West-leading Texas.
New York has won 10 of 13 against Cleveland (34-26) while hitting .304 and averaging 6.8 runs.
Cleveland has been a major surprise this season, but has lost 11 of 15 to see its lead atop the Central sliced from seven games to one over Detroit.
“What comes around goes around,” manager Manny Acta said.
The Indians concluded a 1-6 homestand with a 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday, and are opening a seven-game trip that concludes with three games against the surging Tigers.
Cleveland’s recent struggles, including a .196 average over the last seven games, aren’t much of a concern to Acta.
“Most of these guys that are here went through even tougher times last year,” Acta told the team’s official website. “I don’t think their confidence has wavered at all.
“It’s human nature. One guy wants to win the whole game by himself and does way too much in certain at-bats, and the next guy does the same thing. You just have to let the game come to you and just take what the pitcher gives you, and go from there.”
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.84 ERA over his last five games, and was the victim of a pair of two-run homers over 6 1-3 innings in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Texas.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in his last three games, getting six runs of support during that span. He could have used a little more help from his teammates last Friday, as he allowed two earned runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles.
“It’s really encouraging,” manager Joe Girardi told the team’s official website. “We saw him use his changeup. We saw him use his sinker. We saw him throw more strikes.”
Curtis Granderson(notes) is tied with first basemen Mark Teixeira(notes) for the team lead with 18 homers and 43 RBIs after connecting for a two-run shot Thursday. The center fielder has a .444 average with three doubles, three triples and two homers off Carmona.