No matter how poorly the New York Yankees have played of late, they continue to find success against the Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees look for a fifth consecutive home victory over an Indians team trying to avoid a seventh straight road defeat overall Tuesday night.
New York (32-25) dropped seven of eight, including four of five on this eight-game homestand, before Monday's 7-4 win over Cleveland. Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam for his first homer and Brett Gardner delivered a tiebreaking double as the Yankees pounded out 10 hits after totaling eight and one run in losing their previous two versus Boston.
The Yankees have won nine of 11 versus Cleveland (30-27), and 11 of 13 against the Indians in the Bronx.
Teixeira is 2 for 12 in four games since making his season debut Friday after dealing with a wrist injury, but hopes Monday was the start of a positive run for himself and the team.
"We needed that,'' he said. "I know it's going to take a few weeks to get back in the rhythm of playing every day and seeing big league pitching every day, but this is a good first step.''
Gardner is 11 for 23 (.478) in his last six home games against the Indians.
Ex-Indian Travis Hafner homered Monday - his second hit in the last 20 at-bats.
A winner his previous two starts and feeling fine after taking a line drive off his forearm, scheduled Yankees starter David Phelps (3-3, 4.65 ERA) gave up five runs, four hits and walked two while recording one out in Wednesday's 9-4 loss to the Mets. The right-hander is the first Yankee starter who failed to get more than one out in a game since Darrell Rasner on May 19, 2007 - also against the Mets.
"It's nothing at all. Arm felt great (Wednesday). Just wasn't making pitches,'' Phelps said. "The ball was just up and in the middle of the plate a lot.''
He was solid at Cleveland on May 13, allowing a homer to Jason Kipnis, three other hits and five walks while striking out seven in 1-0 loss.
The Indians have lost 10 of 14 overall and been outscored 40-18 during their last six away from home. Michael Bourn had three hits and Carlos Santana two RBIs for Cleveland, which left Yankee Stadium further frustrated after shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera suffered a quad injury.
"Were going to send him back to Cleveland (on Tuesday) to get scanned and, most likely, this is headed toward the DL," manager Terry Francona said.
Ex-Yankee Nick Swisher went 0 for 4 with a walk in his return to the Bronx. He's 1 for 17 in his last five contests.
After giving up nine runs in eight innings of his two previous starts, scheduled Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir (3-2, 5.13) has allowed three in 12 innings while going 1-0 in his last two. He yielded one run in seven innings of a 7-1 win over Cincinnati on Thursday.
"Everything was working for the most part," Kazmir told the Indians' official website. "Breaking ball was a little erratic, but at the same time I was able to get it in a location where I wouldn't get hurt."
Facing the Yankees for the first time since 2010, the left-hander is 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 17 starts against them.