Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
NY Yankees at Cleveland
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, July 15, 2018
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

If the Cleveland Indians' goal entering the weekend was to prove they are a team different from the one that got swept by the New York Yankees earlier in the season, they appear to be falling short. The Indians attempt to end the first half on a high note and earn a split of their four-game series when they host the Yankees on Sunday.

Cleveland lost all three of its games at Yankee Stadium in early May but still was hanging on to a slim division lead until a six-game winning streak at the end of the month, while two more surges in late June and early July helped the club build as much as an 11 1/2-game advantage in the American League Central. The Indians already have lost four games off that lead over the last week and fell for the sixth time in eight tries Saturday when they committed two errors on a seventh-inning double by Austin Romine, allowing him to score the eventual game-winning run. The Yankees remained 3 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston with Saturday's 5-4 victory, improving to 13-3 against the Central in the process. Didi Gregorius belted a three-run homer in the win for his second blast in this series after hitting only one shot over his previous 25 games.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, TBS, YES (New York), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.68 ERA) vs. Indians RH Trevor Bauer (8-6, 2.23)

Tanaka returned from a month-plus stint on the disabled list to take the loss Tuesday in Baltimore, giving up at least one homer for the seventh straight outing while permitting three runs over 4 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old Japanese import has surrendered 12 of his 17 home runs and posted a 4.91 ERA in nine road turns this year, but he has won all five of his decisions. Edwin Encarnacion is 10-for-22 with a homer versus Tanaka, who is 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland.

Bauer struck out at least 10 batters for the eighth time this season and allowed only three singles over eight scoreless innings Tuesday against Cincinnati, but he was stuck with a no-decision after his bullpen was unable to hold the four-run lead in the ninth. The first-time All-Star has been brilliant in his last 11 outings, going 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA while fanning 111 in 78 1/3 frames. Bauer yielded only two hits but took the loss against the Yankees on May 5 after permitting four runs - two earned - in six innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Indians All-Star 3B Jose Ramirez belted his 29th homer to match Mickey Mantle's record for the most by a switch-hitter before the All-Star break.

2. New York 1B Greg Bird extended his hitting streak to a career high-tying eight games on Saturday with a sixth-inning solo blast.

3. Cleveland C Yan Gomes was named to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Tampa Bay's Wilson Ramos on Saturday, becoming the first Brazilian-born player to receive the honor.

PREDICTION: Indians 7, Yankees 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
NY Yankees 62-32 W1 33-13 29-19 24-17 13-3 16-6 9-6
Cleveland 51-43 L1 30-19 21-24 5-8 28-13 10-16 8-6
Last Meeting
NY Yankees Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/14/18 NYY 5 CLE 4 .257 2 .783 .129 1 .454
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
NY Yankees M. Andujar .286 6 .708
Cleveland J. Ramirez .450 9 1.642
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
NY Yankees B. Gardner 2 4 8
Cleveland J. Ramirez 3 6 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
NY Yankees 4.25 .237 61
Cleveland 5.37 .205 55
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
NY Yankees M. Andujar .283 89 .815
Cleveland M. Brantley .308 104 .838
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
NY Yankees A. Judge 25 66 60
Cleveland J. Ramirez 29 67 70
Pitching ERA Avg K
NY Yankees 3.46 .253 938
Cleveland 4.03 .255 858