NEW YORK — David Phelps followed the worst start of his young career with his best, allowing a mere infield single in six shutout innings and getting home run help from Mark Teixeira as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Teixeira hit his second homer of the season since coming off the disabled list last Friday. His three-run shot made it 4-0 in the third inning, and it came a day after he lined a grand slam against Cleveland.
Drew Stubbs hit a three-run homer in the seventh off Joba Chamberlain. But Nick Swisher lined into a key double play in the eighth, and the Indians dropped their third in a row and seventh straight on the road — they also lost shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, putting him on the disabled list after he strained his right quadriceps Monday night.
Phelps (4-3) neatly bounced back from his previous outing, when he gave up five runs while getting just one out against the New York Mets.
The 26-year-old righty struck out leadoff man Michael Bourn on three pitches and wound up fanning seven with four walks. The lone hit against him came when Stubbs beat out a slow roller to shortstop in the third.
Phelps, in his second major league season, walked the first two batters in the fifth. After a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Phelps retired the next three hitters.
David Robertson escaped a first-and-second, no-out jam in the eighth when Swisher lined to second baseman Jayson Nix, whose flip doubled Jason Kipnis off second. The bad luck against his former team left Swisher in an 0-for-13 rut.
Mariano Rivera struck out two in the ninth for his 21st save. Mike Aviles flied out to end it, then made a beeline toward plate umpire Tony Randazzo to confront him and was ejected — Aviles, who disputed a called third strike earlier in the game, was upset that the first pitch in the final at-bat was ruled a foul instead of a ball.
Scott Kazmir (3-3) breezed through the first two innings, then gave up five straight hits to open the third. Teixeira capped the burst with his homer — Teixeira is 10 for 20 with four doubles and eight walks lifetime against Kazmir.
Lyle Overbay opened the Yankees’ third with a double and Chris Stewart singled, but was caught trying to advance. Ichiro Suzuki followed with an RBI single, Nix singled, and Teixeira homered down the left field line.
NOTES: The Yankees are 5-1 against Cleveland this year. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.36) starts today vs. Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (5-4, 3.71). ... As part of his farewell tour, Rivera met with longtime Yankee Stadium employees before the game. Among them were ticket takers who have worked for the team for more than 40 years. ... Chamberlain and other Yankees greeted a faithful friend near the dugout during batting practice — Chase, a 12-year-old golden retriever. The dog has long worked for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, fetching bats in the first inning and bringing them back to the dugout. Yankees 2B David Adams petted Chase and recalled the pooch retrieving for him, without leaving any teeth marks in the wood. ... Adams played 2B for the first time in the majors.