Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees have somehow battered three Cleveland Indians starters in two games of this series.
The Indians can only hope a day away from the ballpark helped cool off the red-hot Cano and the visiting Yankees in Thursday night's finale of this abbreviated three-game set.
New York (4-4) has amassed eight homers among 25 runs and 31 hits in this series originally scheduled for four games before Wednesday's contest was postponed. Cano is 7 for 10 with three homers and seven RBIs in the first two games.
The superstar second baseman hit two solo homers in an 11-6 victory Monday. He added a homer and two doubles among his four hits Tuesday in a 14-1 rout, the Yankees' most lopsided win in Cleveland since an 18-1 victory in 1931.
"When he hits the ball hard, it's usually for extra bases and drives people in," manager Joe Girardi said. "It does take some pressure off. I've seen him hit some balls in the last two days, I don't know how you can hit them any harder."
The Yankees reached Ubaldo Jimenez for seven runs over 4 1-3 innings Monday. That's the same number of runs Carlos Carrasco was charged with Tuesday over 3 2-3 innings before he was ejected for hitting Kevin Youkilis in the shoulder - one pitch after giving up a homer to Cano.
Indians manager Terry Francona did not believe the plunking of Youkilis - who played for Francona in Boston - was intentional. Carrasco apologized.
"It didn't look good," Francona said. "I understand the umpire's viewpoint. I think if you look at the video, he slipped. If you're on the other side, I understand it. But that's what happened."
Francona brought in Brett Myers to replace Carrasco. Myers, originally scheduled to start Wednesday night, also gave up seven runs over 5 1-3 innings.
Eleven of New York's 18 hits Tuesday went for extra bases. Brett Gardner was 4 for 5 with three runs and Youkilis, Ichiro Suzuki, Lyle Overbay and pinch-hitter Brennan Boesch were the other Yankees to homer besides Cano.
Asdrubal Cabrera's sixth-inning homer was all Cleveland (3-5) could muster in reply. It helped the Indians avoid their third shutout loss of the season.
Nick Swisher has gone 3 for 6 with two walks for the Indians in his first games against his former club.
Ivan Nova has been skipped in favor of Phil Hughes (0-1, 6.75 ERA) as New York's starter Thursday. Hughes yielded four runs over four-plus innings Saturday in an 8-4 loss at Detroit.
Hughes' 7.03 career ERA in April is his highest in any month. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in five starts versus Cleveland, with Cabrera 4 for 9 against him.
The Indians will turn to Zach McAllister (0-1, 3.00), who gave up four runs over six innings Friday in a 4-0 loss at Tampa Bay.
McAllister has never faced the Yankees, who traded the right-hander to Cleveland on Aug. 20, 2010, to complete a deal earlier that season involving Austin Kearns. He never pitched for New York.
The Yankees' last three-game sweep in Cleveland was Aug. 10-12, 2007.
The Associated Press News Service
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