American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 25th
(All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (73-52) at Cleveland Indians (54-71), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Hiroki Kuroda (12-8, 2.96)
Cleveland - Justin Masterson (9-11, 4.73)
(Sports Network) - Snapping out of a three-game funk on Friday night, the New
York Yankees try to extend their lead in the American League East as they
clash with the Cleveland Indians in the second of a three-game set at
New York, which at one time had led the division by 10 games, entered this
road series after being swept by the Chicago White Sox in three games, so it
was important for the Bronx Bombers to reclaim some of their swagger. That is
just what they did in a 3-1 win versus the Tribe last night.
CC Sabathia returned to the hill for New York, after a stint on the disabled
list with left elbow inflammation, and picked up his 13th win in 16
decisions as he worked his way through 7 1/3 innings, giving up just a single
run on four hits and a walk, striking out nine along the way. Rafael Soriano
permitted a pair of hits and a walk in the ninth, but still settled in for his
32nd save of the campaign.
"We've got our boy back," said Nick Swisher of Sabathia's return. "We got our
horse. This guy's been doing it his whole career; coming back to a place that
he used to call home, I definitely think he wanted to pick up a win today. It
was nice to be able to give it to him."
Swisher, who connected on his 19th home run of 2012, knocked in all three runs
for the visitors, while Derek Jeter continued to defy the odds with yet
another couple of hits and two runs scored, surviving a fastball in the second
inning that cracked the brim of his batting helmet.
Over on the other side, Cleveland starter Corey Kluber made it through five
innings, allowing one run on six hits and a couple of walks, striking out six,
but he failed to figure into the decision. Accepting the loss was Cody Allen,
who gave up two runs on two hits in just a single inning of action as the
Tribe fell 15 1/2 games off the pace in the AL Central and are now in fifth
place in the standings.
Cleveland's lone run came on Asdrubal Cabrera's 14th home run of the season,
the only extra-base hit of the contest for the hosts as they dropped to 30-30
in home dates this season. Of the other five hits for the Indians, two came
from Carlos Santana.
Aiming for his third win in as many starts, Hiroki Kuroda steps to the hill
for the Yankees this evening in Cleveland. The right-hander, already 1-0
against the Tribe this season, has won six of his last seven decisions
overall, bouncing back from a disappointing 3-6 start to the 2012 campaign.
Kuroda last pitched against Boston at home on Sunday, allowing just a single
run on four hits, striking out four, over the course of eight innings in a 4-1
triumph for the Bombers.
Countering for the Indians will be Justin Masterson, a product of San Diego
State who for his career is 12 games under .500 (37-49). Also in action last
weekend, Masterson was touched for at least seven runs for the third time in
the last five games, surrendering nine hits and a walk, while striking out
five in just 5 2/3 innings of work in a loss to Oakland on the road.
The right-hander faced off against New York back on June 26 when he gave up
four runs on seven hits and walked three, striking out just two in six innings
of what became a 6-4 road loss for the club. Masterson now has a career record
of 2-3 with a 3.31 ERA in nine all-time appearances versus the Yankees.
A perfect 4-0 against Cleveland this season, the Yankees own a 3 1/2 game lead
in the AL East over a Tampa Bay squad that bowed to Oakland on Friday. New
York owns the best slugging percentage (.460) of any team in the American
League, thanks in large part to 194 home runs which is 27 more than the
closest competitor in that department.
08/25 10:40:19 ET