Streaky play has defined the New York Yankees' season thus far, but they're heading into their next series on their most successful run of 2008.
The Yankees will try to stretch their winning streak to a season-high four games on Tuesday night when they open a three-game home series against the Cleveland Indians.New York (17-16) capped its first series sweep of 2008 with an 8-2 win over Seattle on Sunday. The Yankees have twice win three in a row this season, but have allowed 14 runs in two losses when trying to extend those runs."It's been kind of streaky," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'd like to shorten one streak and lengthen another."If their pitching remains as dominant as it's been recently, then the Yankees have a good chance to continue their success. New York's starters posted a 2.00 ERA, giving up just four runs and two walks over 18 innings in their previous series.On Sunday, Darrell Rasner -- recalled from the minors to pitch in place of the injured Phil Hughes -- limited the Mariners to two runs and five hits with four strikeouts and no walks over six innings.Derek Jeter went 4-for-5 and Hideki Matsui pushed his hitting streak to 14 games, batting .327 (17-for-52) with a homer and nine RBIs in that span.Despite being without sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, the Yankees scored 19 runs and batted .324 against Seattle. They were outscored 20-10 and hit only .223 while losing three straight to Detroit in their previous series.New York hopes to continue their offensive surge for Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.93 ERA), who will try to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time since May 7-18, 2005 while with Houston.Pettitte allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings of a 6-2 defeat to the Tigers on Wednesday. In his previous outing, he yielded five runs and seven hits in five innings during a 6-4 loss at Cleveland on April 25.The left-hander is 6-8 with a 4.63 ERA in 17 starts versus the Indians, going 1-4 with a 5.48 ERA in seven matchups at Yankee Stadium.The Yankees split a four-game set last month in Cleveland to improve to 12-5 in the regular season versus the Indians since 2006.Cleveland's offense, meanwhile, has been anemic lately, mustering a .242 average -- just ahead of the AL-worst Chicago White Sox.The Indians (14-17) have been held to three runs or fewer 16 times this season, and had only four hits in a 2-0 home loss to Kansas City on Sunday."We're in the middle of evaluating everything," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We're looking at everything and we're going to do whatever we possibly can do to make whatever adjustments we need to make."Victor Martinez, though, hasn't been affected by his team's struggles, going 1-for-4 on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 15 games in which he has batted .344 (21-for-61) with five RBIs.The Indians have lost five of their last seven since a season-high five-game winning streak, but hope Fausto Carmona (3-1, 2.60) can help end their recent funk. The right-hander gave up two runs -- one earned -- and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings on Tuesday, but didn't factor in a 7-2 loss to Seattle.Carmona will face the Yankees for the first time since the Indians' 2-1, 11-inning victory in a division series game on Oct. 5.He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five games, including two starts last season, versus the Yankees.