The New York Yankees and Indians aim to wake up their slumbering offenses on Thursday when they open a four-game series in Cleveland.
The Yankees sleepwalked their way to a sixth loss in their last seven outings with a 4-1 setback to the visiting Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. New York mustered just five hits and scored its lone run in the ninth inning.
Despite his team’s sluggish numbers, Yankees manager Aaron Boone remains confident that his charges will heat up soon.
“(I) believe in our guys, know who they are (and) know we’re gonna mash,” Boone said. “It’s definitely frustrating when you’re going through it, but as far as is it hard to stay positive? Not at all.
“I know we’re walking out there with heavy artillery each and every night. We’ve just got to unlock it right now, and we will.”
The weaponry isn’t making much of an impact as of yet.
New York owns a .205 team batting average while recording just 59 runs and 113 hits in 17 games this season. Those statistics are all in the bottom five in the majors.
The Indians are included among the bottom five teams in those statistics. Cleveland is batting .209 while totaling 62 runs and 108 hits in 16 games, though its total of 23 homers ranks near the top in the majors.
Jordan Luplow has belted a team-leading five homers, including four during his past nine games. He is batting .318 with nine RBIs during that stretch.
“He’s taken some good swings and he’s dangerous,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “As long as he can take good swings, he’s going to hit some balls out of the ballpark.”
Luplow launched a solo homer in Cleveland’s 8-5 setback to the White Sox on Tuesday. The loss was the third in four games for the Indians, who saw Wednesday’s game at Chicago postponed because of snow, cold weather and a soggy field.
Indians right-hander Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.18 ERA) looks to continue his winning ways when he gets the nod on Thursday. He allowed one run on five hits in six innings of a 4-2 victory over the White Sox on April 15.
Civale, 25, lost his lone career encounter against the Yankees. He permitted three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings of a 3-2 setback on Aug. 16, 2019.
Civale will be opposed by Yankees right-hander Domingo German (0-2, 9.00 ERA), who will take the mound for his first start since April 10. He was optioned to the alternate training site after the contest.
“When I went down to the alternate site, I wanted to work on my fastball command,” German said through an interpreter. “It’s one of the things I spoke to our pitching coach after my last outing here in the big leagues. I also want to control the different lanes and have my pitches be more effective and sharper.”
German, 28, sports an 0-2 record with a 5.63 ERA in three career starts versus Cleveland.
New York’s Gio Urshela exited the Wednesday contest at the start of the eighth inning due to lower back tightness. Boone said Urshela, a former Indian, is considered day-to-day.
–Field Level Media