Each time, they emerged with wins, and by doing so the Yankees can complete the sweep of the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
New York is 14-1 in its last 15 games after opening the series with a 7-6 win Friday and following it up with a 5-2 victory Saturday afternoon. It is the Yankees’ best 15-game stretch since also going 14-1 from June 24 to July 12, 1998, during their 114-win season.
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After taking three of four at Houston, the Yankees won the first game against the Indians on Miguel Andujar’s single in the ninth after blowing a five-run lead in the eighth and a one-run lead in the ninth. Then the Yankees scored four times in the sixth Saturday after doing little against Trevor Bauer.
“I love our room,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I love our guys in the room, the way they go about it, the way they show up and the way they play and compete. So that’s the best part for me, getting to go to work with these guys and really just kind of watch them do their thing each and every night.
“And no matter the score, no matter the pitcher, no matter the situation, they kind of continue to press on. It’s fun to be a part of that.”
During this stretch, the Yankees have gone from a .500 team to a 23-10 record for their best start since 2003.
In the last 15 games, the Yankees are outscoring opponents by a 91-33 margin.
Including the playoffs, Cleveland has dropped its last four visits to New York and five straight games overall to the Yankees. The Indians are 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position in this series.
Francisco Lindor is hitting .436 with four homers and nine RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak. He also has made three errors at shortstop, including a fielding error and a throwing error Saturday on a grounder by Ronald Torreyes that allowed two runs.
“Both games have been lost because of me,” Lindor said. “That’s unacceptable. (The) pitching staff is doing a great job. Defense is doing a great job. Hitters are doing a great job. The only one that’s not a good job is me and I put that on me.
“I’m not helping my team and that’s something that bothers me. It hurts me, but at the end of the day tomorrow we got another game. Hopefully, I can turn a double play tomorrow.”
Cleveland also has dropped six of its last nine games and its lineup may be without center fielder Bradley Zimmer.
Zimmer crashed hard into the right-center field wall attempting to catch Austin Romine’s double and left the game, but manager Terry Francona said it is possible to see him in the lineup Sunday.
“He got his left shoulder he hit pretty hard,” Francona said. “I think he’s OK. He said he’s going to play tomorrow. Certainly see how he wakes up, but I think he’s OK, he hit that wall pretty hard.”
The Indians will start Mike Clevinger on Sunday. He has won eight of his last nine decisions dating to Aug. 21. Since then, he is 8-1 with a 1.88 ERA in his last 14 appearances.
Clevinger last started Tuesday when he took a no-decision in Cleveland’s 8-6 loss to the Texas Rangers. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings while throwing 105 pitches.
Clevinger’s lone appearance against the Yankees occurred during an 8-1 home loss on Aug. 6 when he allowed a three-run homer to Aaron Judge in the eighth inning. He received a no-decision.
Domingo German will make his first start in place of Jordan Montgomery, who could miss two months with a left elbow strain. Montgomery’s diagnosis was made after he underwent an MRI on Wednesday after experiencing the discomfort in the first inning Tuesday.
While Montgomery continues to recover, German will make his first career start and 13th career appearance. In Tuesday’s 4-0 win at Houston, he pitched four scoreless innings while throwing 61 pitches.
“We’ll just kind of see how it evolves,” Boone said before Saturday’s game. “I foresee him being in the rotation at least a couple of times through just based on where we are roster-wise and availability wise.
“He’s a guy that we have a lot of confidence in, who’s pitched very well for us. We feel like he’s more than capable of stepping in there in a starting role.”
In five relief appearances, German is 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA.