Bronx, NY – Mark Teixeira belted a three-run homer and David Phelps bounced back from a horrendous last start to help pitch the Yankees to a 4-3 decision over the Cleveland Indians in the middle test of a three-game series.
Six days after recording just one out while being rocked for five runs in a loss to the rival Mets, Phelps (4-3) yielded only one hit and scattered four walks while striking out seven over six shutout innings to lead the Yankees to a second straight win in this set and deal the Indians a seventh consecutive road defeat.
"One infield hit, I think ... that's impressive against that team," said Teixeira of Phelps' performance. "Phelpsie showed a lot of guts tonight after a tough outing last week. He just pitched great tonight."
Teixeira, who delivered a grand slam in Monday's 7-4 verdict over the Tribe, capped a four-run third inning against Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir with his blast and finished 2-for-3. Ichiro Suzuki came through with an RBI single earlier in the frame.
Kazmir (3-3) fanned seven over six innings and allowed seven hits, five of which came in succession during New York's outburst in the third.
"One play here and one play there, that can be the difference in a ball game," said Kazmir afterward. "We're in a good place, we've just got to keep battling."
Drew Stubbs accounted for all of the Indians' scoring with a three-run homer in the seventh inning and had two of Cleveland's four hits.
Phelps was far more sharp than last week's disastrous outing, with the right- hander setting down nine of the first 11 Cleveland hitters and limiting the Indians to just one hit and a pair of walks until running into some mild trouble in the top of the fifth.
He had been staked to a 4-0 lead by that point, thanks to Kazmir's lone bad inning of the evening.
Lyle Overbay began New York's hitting surge in the third with a double to the base of the center-field wall and Chris Stewart followed with a single, though he would be tagged out in a rundown while attempting to stretch it. Suzuki then lashed a base hit to left to put the Yankees ahead.
After Jayson Nix continued the sequence with a single, Teixeira crushed a Kazmir changeup into the seats in left to send New York in front comfortably.
"Hitting a home run left-handed (on Monday) and right-handed (tonight) -- that's definitely a good sign for me," said Teixeira, playing in only his fifth game since being sidelined the season's first two months with a wrist injury.
Phelps did issue back-to-back walks to Mark Reynolds and Jason Giambi to start the fifth, but retired the next three hitters to avert damage before concluding his stint with a 1-2-3 sixth.
Joba Chamberlain couldn't keep the shutout bid intact after taking over in the seventh, however. A walk to Carlos Santana and a two-out single by Mike Aviles brought up Stubbs, who clubbed a low slider over the right-field wall to pull Cleveland within a run.
The Indians threatened again with David Robertson on the mound in the eighth, placing the first two runners aboard on a walk and a Michael Brantley single. Nick Swisher then delivered a line drive that was snagged by Nix at second base, with Kipnis doubled off on the play to erase the potential tying run.
Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth and set the Indians down in order, with two outs via strikeouts, to nail down his American League-leading 21st save.
Cleveland has now lost in 10 of their last 11 visits to Yankee Stadium and dropped to 6-16 against the AL East this season, which includes a 1-5 mark against New York ... The Indians placed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the 15- day disabled list prior to the game after he strained his right quadriceps in Monday's opener ... Stewart returned to the lineup after sitting out two games due to dehydration ... Kazmir fell to 0-3 with a 6.66 ERA in five road starts this year and has allowed six homers in 24 1/3 innings in visiting parks ... Swisher went 0-for-4 and is in a 1-for-21 slump over his last six games.