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David Phelps, Yankees look to finish off Indians

Right-hander gets the start as Yankees hope to clinch series with win in finale
07/10/2014 11:41 AM ET
By The Associated Press

David Phelps is coming off a strong seven-inning effort against the Twins on July 5.(AP)
(AP) -- The New York Yankees are poised to avoid letting a potentially serious arm problem with their star rookie and another injury to a veteran outfielder prevent them from continuing their recent success.

In the midst of an 11-game trip, the Yankees can record a second straight winning series Thursday night against the Cleveland Indians.

Hours after the club placed 12-game winner Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation and Carlos Beltran suffered a broken nose from a batted ball during batting practice, New York (46-44) overcame a three-run, first-inning deficit to win 5-4 over Cleveland in 14 innings Wednesday.

Mark Teixeira homered twice, Jacoby Ellsbury delivered a go-ahead solo shot in the 14th and seven relievers held the Indians to three hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings as the Yankees improved to 5-2 on a trip that followed a season-high five-game home slide.

"Great feeling," said Ellsbury, who had three hits. "These games are hard fought."

Though Tanaka's injury is another blow to a rotation that's already without injured starters CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova, the Yankees can't afford to feel sorry for themselves as they try to catch first-place Baltimore and Toronto in the AL East.

"It's not how you draw it up, I can tell you that," manager Joe Girardi told MLB's official website. "Injuries are part of the game and you've got to deal with them."

Beltran, meanwhile, appeared ready to return after missing the first two games of the set with knee swelling before Wednesday's pregame incident.

"I had a headache for the whole day and now it's getting better," he said. "So hopefully (Thursday) it will get better and I could be back soon."

David Phelps (3-4, 4.01 ERA) is 2-0 with a 3.16 ERA in his last five starts but his teammates have scored four runs with him on the mound in losing the last three.

The right-hander has yielded only three solo homers and four other hits in 12 2-3 innings over the last two. He allowed one in seven innings of a 2-1, 11-inning loss at Minnesota on Saturday.

"Anytime we lose, they all sting the same," said Phelps, who retired 11 in a row before Josh Willingham homered in the seventh. "We're out there grinding and there's going to be games where we don't score a lot of runs. That's why it's frustrating for me to go out and give up a leadoff home run in the seventh."

A solo homer to Jason Kipnis on May 13, 2013, is the only run and one of five hits Phelps gave up in 12 2-3 innings while going 1-1 versus Cleveland (44-46) last season.

Michael Brantley is 1 for 5 versus Phelps, but 16 for 32 in his last seven home games.

T.J. House (1-2, 4.24) allowed three runs and nine hits but lasted 6 2-3 innings during a 7-3 win over Kansas City on Saturday for his first win in his eighth career game and seventh start. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA during a three-start stretch that included a brief trip down to Triple-A Columbus.

"He's pitched well enough to have a win before now," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But his first official win, I'm sure that's very special."

Teixeira's multi-homer game was his first since July 13, 2012.

STARTING LINEUPS

YANKEES:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Zelous Wheeler RF
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Brendan Ryan 2B

David Phelps RHP

INDIANS:

Jason Kipnis 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Michael Brantley CF
Carlos Santana 1B
Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
David Murphy RF
Nick Swisher DH
Chris Dickerson LF
Roberto Perez C

T.J. House LHP

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