July 06, 2014

CLEVELAND -- Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees probably won't have closer Aroldis Chapman available on Sunday, but that's fine with Girardi, because Chapman was instrumental in the Yankees' 7-6 win over the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings on Saturday.

Chapman pitched a career-high 2 1/3 innings.

"We had to use our 'pen hard today, but we've got time off coming (during the All-Star break), so I was willing to do it," Girardi said.

So in Sunday's final game of the four-game series between the Indians and Yankees, the Yankees may be working without a safety net as it were, if Chapman isn't available.

But the Yankees will certainly have the momentum going into the game. They have won two of the first three games of the series against the AL Central-leading Indians, and Sunday's win was a momentum builder because the Yankees were down and came back to take the lead a couple of times.

"It was a good win and we had a lot of big two-out rallies," Girardi said.

On Sunday, the Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka (6-2, 3.12) to the mound. Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (5-2, 2.47).

It will be the final game before the break for both teams. For the Yankees it will be the end of a long 10-game trip to San Diego, Chicago and Cleveland.

The Yankees are 4-5 on the trip, so a win Sunday would give them a .500 trip to take into the break.

The Indians are concluding a seven-game homestand against the Tigers and Yankees. Cleveland is 3-3 in the first six games of the homestand.

Tanaka will be making his third career start vs. the Indians. In his first two he was 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA. Carrasco has made six career starts against the Yankees. He is 3-2 with a 4.19 ERA in those games. In two starts against New York last year he was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA.

Indians manager Terry Francona make no secret about the fact that he and his team are looking forward to the four-day All-Star break.

"The break is coming at a really good time for us," Francona said. "We've been playing a lot of baseball lately. Our guys can see (the break) coming, but I always tell them you don't coast into the break, you go 99 miles per hour, and then stop."

The Indians will go into Sunday's game with a bullpen that might be a little short.

Starter Danny Salazar only pitched five-plus innings in Saturday's loss. The Indians used six relievers, so they will need Carrasco to give them a quality start and pitch deep into the game.

The Yankees' bullpen should be a little fresher Sunday. They used three relievers in Saturday's game, but one of them was Chapman.

No player on either side will be looking forward to the break more than Indians catcher Yan Gomes, who was 0-for-5 on Saturday. Gomes is hitless in his last 18 at-bats and is hitting .038 (1-for-26) in July.

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