Slumping Indians send Kluber to the hill
Brandon McCarthy has won all four starts he has made for the New York Yankees since his first one came against the Cleveland Indians.
He’ll probably need to be sharp in this rematch since he’s up against the dominant Corey Kluber.
Runs figure to be at a premium with these red-hot starters on the mound Saturday as the Yankees look to defeat the Indians for the eighth straight time in the Bronx.
McCarthy (4-0, 2.08 ERA) had never won four straight outings until this stretch in which he has posted a 2.28 ERA, capped by Monday’s 2-1 win over Detroit in which he gave up an unearned run in 5 2-3 innings. He has allowed two earned runs in 17 2-3 innings at Yankee Stadium.
"He’s been huge for our rotation," manager Joe Girardi said. "He’s come over here and pitched about as well as you could."
The only time McCarthy did not win for New York (61-54) was his club debut July 9. He was charged with four runs – one earned – over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-4, 14-inning victory.
The right-hander has seen his team win his last seven starts, with two victories for Arizona. That’s the second-longest active streak in the majors behind the 12 in a row won by the Los Angeles Dodgers with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
That run won’t be easy to maintain since Kluber (12-6, 2.55) is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA in six outings since losing to the Dodgers on June 30. That 1.49 ERA is fourth in the majors since the start of July, with Kershaw third, and Kluber has struck out 50 and limited hitters to a .175 average in that span.
The right-hander is the last Indians pitcher to win, yielding one run in 7 1-3 innings of Monday’s 7-1 home victory over Cincinnati.
"Klubes has pitched to the point where, heck yeah, you better play with confidence," manager Terry Francona said. "He’s one of the best pitchers in the league."
Kluber is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees.
Cleveland (57-59) seeks to avoid its first five-game slide since losing a season-worst six straight April 25-30. The Indians have dropped 12 of their last 13 in the Bronx and seven straight there after Friday’s 10-6 defeat in the opener of this three-game set.
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, hitless in his last 13 at-bats, did not play because he looked fatigued, Francona said. Chisenhall is hitless in six at-bats against McCarthy.
Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira will likely miss a third straight game after getting spiked on the left hand in a play at the plate in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Detroit. Teixeira got stitches in his left pinkie that night and says the finger is still too sore to play.
Catcher Brian McCann left in the sixth inning Friday with a mild concussion. He will be reevaluated Saturday before the Yankees learn if he lands on the 7-day concussion DL.
New York won for the sixth time in seven games as Carlos Beltran had a grand slam and an RBI single. Derek Jeter tied Honus Wagner for sixth place on the career list with his 3,430th hit in a five-run first inning.