After finally picking up a win in his last outing, Justin Masterson will try to make it two in a row when he faces the Yankees on Wednesday night in the finale of this three-game series.
The Indians will also be attempting to win their third straight series overall, after taking two-of-three from both Arizona and Cincinnati and splitting the first two games with New York.
In his last outing, Masterson (6-6, 2.85 ERA) won for the first time since April when he defeated the Reds in Cincinnati with eight innings of one-run, four-hit ball in an 8-2 Cleveland win. Masterson struck out five and walked only one in the triumph.
Over his career, Masterson is 1-2 in seven games against the Yankees, including three starts. Masterson has worked 21.1 innings and allowed nine runs to the Bombers, for an ERA of 3.80, and has yet to surrender a home run to New York -- important to consider when facing a lineup that includes Curtis Granderson, who has belted three homers in the first two games of this series.
Masterson will be faced by Phil Hughes (0-1, 13.94 ERA) who will be making his first appearance for the Yankees since April 14, and who has been out since then with "right arm fatigue".
In his three appearances before being shut down, Hughes worked only 10.1 innings and allowed 16 runs on 19 hits. Hughes's longest appearance this season was a 4.1 inning effort against Baltimore, in his final appearance before heading to the DL.
Hughes has faced Cleveland three times in his career, and is 2-0 vs. the Tribe, with a 3.50 ERA. Hughes has worked 18 innings against the Indians in three starts, allowing 14 hits and striking out 20.
The Yankees' right-hander is coming off of an 18-8 season in 2010, and for his career, is 31-19 in 106 games, of which 60 have been starts.
The Indians' Asdrubal Cabrera is day-to-day after slightly spraining an ankle last night on a play at shortstop. The injury is not thought to be serious, but even so, don't be too surprised if one of the Tribe's two All-Stars sits out tonight's affair.
This will be the last scheduled game between New York and Cleveland in the 2011 season. After Tuesday's victory, the Yankees lead the season-series, 4-2.
New York's Derek Jeter, after his two-hit game on Tuesday, now stands four hits shy of 3,000. When Jeter reaches that milestone, it will be an accomplishment worth note, even if he does play for "the evil empire". So good on you, Derek, when you reach 3,000...just don't reach it in Cleveland with some super-game tonight.
The Indians' lead over Detroit remained at a game and a half last night when the Angels' Dan Haren bested the Tigers' Justin Verlander 1-0. Detroit will play this afternoon in Anaheim, so by game-time the Tribe should know whether they have a chance to increase their lead in the AL Central. The Chicago White Sox also lost on Tuesday and so remained 3.5 games back.
And don't look now, but the Minnesota Twins won again and climbed to within seven games of the Indians.
Let's get this one tonight, and get ready for four games with Toronto at home before we all take an All-Star break.