With one more bad night in the Bronx, that might not be the case for Cleveland.
The offensively starved Indians look to avoid their second four-game sweep this month Monday night against Derek Jeter(notes) and the Yankees, who try to stay hot on the heels of a season-high 18 hits.
New York (36-27) wasn’t feeling particularly good about itself when its series with Cleveland began Friday, but has quickly put a three-game home sweep at the hands of AL East-leading Boston in the rear-view mirror.
The Yankees pounded out 15 hits in a series-opening 11-7 win before riding Bartolo Colon’s(notes) pitching to a 4-0 victory Saturday. The offense led the way again Sunday. Curtis Granderson(notes) had four hits, Alex Rodriguez(notes) and Brett Gardner(notes) came through with three apiece in New York’s 9-1 romp.
Jeter added a pair of singles to move with seven of 3,000 career hits.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you I haven’t been thinking about it,” Jeter, who’s hitting .359 in his last 15 games against Cleveland, said of the approaching milestone. “It’s impossible for that not to be in your head, because I’m around that all the time.”
The Yankees have scored three more runs in this series than the Indians have scored while losing nine of 10, a slump that began by dropping four straight to Texas.
Cleveland’s .201 batting average since June 2 is 20 points lower than any other AL club. The Indians (34-29) are an astoundingly poor 6 for 68 with runners in scoring position during that span after leading the majors with a .303 average in RBI situations prior to June 1.
“You can’t expect to win a ballgame doing that kind of stuff,” manager Manny Acta told the team’s official website. “We’re going to have to just continue to go out there and fight, and maybe tinker a little bit more with that lineup. We’ll do whatever we can to try to see if we can come up with something different.”
Whatever Acta comes up with, he’ll hope to see Yankees starter A.J. Burnett(notes) (6-4, 4.37 ERA) looking as ineffective as he was Wednesday against the Red Sox. Working on six days’ rest, the right-hander gave up eight runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings of an 11-6 loss.
“It’s not what you want,” manager Joe Girardi told the Yankees’ official website. “The book is not closed on A.J. here and what’s ahead of us, that’s for sure. He struggled tonight, but that book is not closed - that book is wide open - and he’s going to have another opportunity.”
Burnett is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his last four starts against Cleveland after going 1-3 with an 8.46 ERA in his first four.
New York will face Carlos Carrasco(notes) (5-3, 4.52) for the first time. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up three hits over a career-high 8 1-3 innings in Cleveland’s 1-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.
He’s already been really good on the road. Carrasco is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in six starts away from Progressive Field, boosted by an average of 8.02 runs of support.