(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees take aim at another series win on Thursday when they close out a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Hours after placing All-Star rookie hurler Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list New York pulled out a thrilling win, as Jacoby Ellsbury's solo home run in the 14th inning carried the Yankees to a 5-4 win.
Ellsbury, who came into the game mired in a 5-for-27 slump on the Yanks' current 11-game road trip, went 3-for-7 and scored twice to help New York improve to 5-2 on the trek.
"Great feeling," said Ellsbury. "These games are hard fought."
Mark Teixeira hit a pair of homers off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin and knocked in three runs as the Yankees beat the Indians for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings.
Vinnie Pestano (0-1) delivered an 0-2 pitch that Ellsbury turned on and drove over the wall in right with two outs.
"You get in a game like that and you're playing home and you feel like you have an advantage," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Vinnie got ahead of 0-2 and tried to bury a breaking ball and left it over. That's the game."
After the game, though, all the focus turned back to Tanaka, who was back in New York after an MRI on his ailing right elbow. With Tanaka on the shelf, four of the Yankees' five starters on the Opening Day roster are now on the disabled list.
"Any time you lose a starting pitcher, they're hard to replace," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. "What [Tanaka's] done for us, the innings, the wins and the quality of starts, it's hard to replace."
Getting the call for the Yankees on Thursday will be right-hander David Phelps, who has been tremendous of late. Phelps did not get a decision on Saturday in Minnesota, but it was through no fault of his own, as he allowed just a run and three hits over seven innings of his team's 2-1 loss.
Over his last five starts Phelps is 2-0 with a 3.16 ERA, but the Yanks have managed just four runs while he's been on the hill in that time. He is 3-4 overall on the year with a 4.01 ERA.
"Anytime we lose, they all sting the same," said Phelps, who retired 11 in a row before Josh Willingham homered in the seventh. "We're out there grinding and there's going to be games where we don't score a lot of runs. That's why it's frustrating for me to go out and give up a leadoff home run in the seventh."
Phelps is 1-1 in two starts against the Indians and has given up just one run in 12 2/3 innings of those outings.
Cleveland will counter with lefty T.J. House, who is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA. House defeated Kansas City on Saturday, holding them to three runs over 6 2/3 innings.
"He's come a long way in a year," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You never know how guys adapt to the league and what the finished product is. Nobody knows. But that's the fun part. He's certainly showed he could compete and get Major League hitters out."
The Yankees were 6-1 against the Indians last season and have won 13 of the last 16 in the series.