Mark Teixeira homers again, David Phelps goes six scoreless to lift Yankees over Indians
But that trend is changing as one of their big boppers is once again making his "mark" in the Yankees lineup.
After smacking a grand slam in the New York's 7-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night, Mark Teixeira was at it again on Tuesday. The first baseman hit a three-run shot as part of a four-run third inning in the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Indians.
On Monday, Teixeira's grand slam came against right-hander Justin Masterson. But on Tuesday, the switch-hitter turned around to blast a long ball against the left-handed Scott Kazmir, a sign that the wrist injury may be a thing of the past.
"Seeing the power is important for me because I want to commit to my swing," Teixeira said after the game. "The first couple of games back, you kind of feel for it, you don't want to let it go and then that one hurt. I haven't had that yet, so [I'm] just committing to the swing. And hitting the home run left-handed and right-handed just kind of shows, 'Ok, let it go,' and that's what I've always done. I've never tried to just punch up to the gaps or anything and it's definitely a good sign for the wrists."
"It's great to see him productive from both sides," manager Joe Girardi said of his slugging first baseman. "He hit the ball hard again right-handed and had a great walk left-handed. It's really good to see."
At the time, Teixeira's home run gave the Yankees a four-run advantage. It proved to be the difference in New York's one-run win.
David Phelps started and tossed six scoreless innings to earn his fourth victory of the season. At times, Phelps struggled with his command, walking four batters. A rising pitch count prevented him from going more than six frames. But Phelps battled and gave the Yankees an impressive performance, allowing only one hit and striking out seven batters.
"It was a battle all night," Phelps said after his start. "I felt like I was all over the place. I was fortunate that when I needed to make some big pitches, I was able to make them. [Catcher Chris Stewart] did a good job back there with me."
This outing was very important for Phelps, who tried to go to the mound with a short memory. He lasted just 1/3 of an inning in his previous start against the Mets. Phelps' bounce-back effort was impressive: He became the first Yankee since Catfish Hunter on July 27 and Aug. 1, 1978, to throw at least six scoreless innings after an outing in which he recorded one of fewer outs.
"I tried to forget about the last start as much as possible," Phelps said. "It's always good to come out and have a good outing after something like that."
"He kind of ran the game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He mixed everything up and we didn't have anything to show for it. We made him work. We took out walks. We couldn't push any runs across. It's rare that you see getting one-hit and look up and see a bunch of pitches like that. He did a very good job of not giving in, mixing things up, elevating and cutting."
Drew Stubbs made things a lot more interesting, blasting a three-run home run off of Joba Chamberlain in the seventh inning to bring the Tribe within one, but Boone Logan, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera closed the door to give the Yankees their second straight win and the series victory.
The Yankees will go for a sweep, and try to salvage a 4-4 homestand, on Wednesday afternoon at the Stadium.