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Yankees sweep Indians on an otherwise dismal day


If the New York Yankees are going to survive two to three starts without CC Sabathia and minimally six weeks without Andy Pettitte, they may need to jump on the back of the offense. Yesterday, Robinson Cano was up to the task in a 5-4 victory that gained the Yankees a sweep over the Cleveland Indians.

Cleveland took an early 1-0 lead on Shelly Duncan’s RBI-double in the second inning, but the Yankees jumped ahead of the Tribe on Eric Chavez‘s two-run double in the fourth inning giving Pettitte the lead heading into the fifth inning.

Casey Kotchman was the first batter in the frame and lined a single off Pettitte’s ankle that bounced to the third base line and dropped Pettitte to the ground. After Pettitte was removed, Cody Eppley came in and allowed a single and sac bunt. He was replaced by Clay Rapada who got Michael Brantley to bounce into a fielder’s choice for the second out. But, he then allowed run-scoring singles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis ending his appearance.

Freddy Garcia, who will be returned to the rotation due to the injuries, was once again very effective in relief and notched the final out of the fifth inning. Garcia tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball without allowing a base-runner. His performance allowed the Yankees to stay in the game and eventually take the lead on Cano’s two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.

David Robertson pitched an excellent eighth inning with two strikeouts maintaining the Yankees 5-3 lead. Rafael Soriano entered the game and practically made a bad day worse.

Soriano loaded the bases by allowing a walk wrapped around by two singles with only one out. He got Johnny Damon to strike out, but then walked Brantley to force in a run and bring the Tribe within one. Soriano was able to get Cabrera to fly out to end the game. It was Soriano’s 17th save in 18 chances.

The Yankees (46-28) moved a season-high 18 games over .500 and maintain the best record in MLB. It was their fifth straight victory. The Indians fell to .500 (37-37) and are now 2.5 games behind the Yankees next opponent, the Chicago White Sox.

Ivan Nova (9-2, 4.25 ERA) takes the mound for the Yankees. Nova received a no-decision in his last start after winning five straight previous outings. He has a 2-0 record against the White Sox with a 1.37 ERA in three starts. The White Sox send Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.85 ERA) to the bump. Axelrod is replacing Philip Humber in the rotation and has no record against the Yankees.