Cleveland at New York

Scoreboard
Cleveland (16-17) «100110000370
N.Y. Yankees (17-18)000000000070

Indians' Lee outpitches Wang in matchup of unbeaten starters

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Cliff Lee knows he probably won't win all of his starts this season. That doesn't mean he isn't going to try.

Lee threw seven sharp innings Wednesday night to beat Chien-Ming Wang in a matchup of unbeaten starters, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 3-0 victory against the New York Yankees.

"I've got to focus on this next outing and if I do that and continue to do that things should go the way they have gone," Lee said. "Obviously I can't expect to put up zeros every single time but it's my job to put up as many as I can and get deep into the game and give the team a chance to win.

"I've done that so far and hopefully it continues."

Lee became the first Indians pitcher to win his first six starts since Greg Swindell in 1988 and lowered his major league-best ERA to a microscopic 0.81. The left-hander has allowed just four earned runs in 44 2/3 innings after a rough 2007 that included a stint in the minors.

"Cliff is in the groove right now," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Wang (6-1) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings for the Yankees, who dropped to 3-5 on their nine-game homestand. Hideki Matsui singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, matching a career high.

New York fell to 27-8 in 35 career starts by Wang following a Yankees loss, ending an 11-game winning streak in those games. He fell to 22-7 in those starts.

"A lot of nights that's good enough," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He gave us seven good innings. Unfortunately we couldn't score any runs for him."

Victor Martinez had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, Casey Blake singled in a run in the fourth and David Dellucci added an RBI single in the fifth. Dellucci was booed before each of his at-bats after his pinch-hit three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain lifted Cleveland to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.

"That's two straight days our offense has been pitiful," said Johnny Damon, who is 0-for-9 in the past two games.

The Indians have won the first two of the three-game set to secure their first winning series at Yankee Stadium since June 2001. They improved to 4-2 against New York this season, clinching their first season series victory since they went 7-6 against the Yankees in 1992.

Paul Byrd will oppose New York's Mike Mussina on Thursday as Cleveland goes for its first sweep of three games or more in the Bronx since April 1989, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Lee (6-0) set it up with another impressive performance, allowing just six hits and striking out seven. He hasn't walked a batter in his past 28 innings.

"They had a lead and he just kept attacking the strike zone," Damon said. "He did exactly what he needed to do."

Rafael Perez worked the eighth and Rafael Betancourt got three outs for his fourth save, finishing off the seven-hitter.

The matchup between Wang and Lee was the first between two pitchers with at least a 5-0 record since Oakland's Dave Stewart faced Swindell on May 8, 1988, according to Elias. Stewart moved to 8-0 with a four-hitter, beating Swindell and Cleveland 5-1.

Lee will go for his seventh straight win to open the season Monday against Toronto. His fast start would've been hard to predict a year ago, when he began the season on the disabled list, spent some time at Triple-A Buffalo and was left off Cleveland's playoff roster.

"Mainly just locating my fastball a little better," Lee said about the difference this year. "Working ahead in the count, staying out of hitter's counts, 2-0, 3-1, trying to stay ahead in the count. Obviously, locating my fastball is the key."

The Yankees put runners on first and second with one out in the fifth but Lee struck out Morgan Ensberg and got Jose Molina to fly out to deep right. He fanned Matsui with runners on second and third to end the sixth.

Notes

  • Alex Rodriguez (strained right quadriceps), Jorge Posada (right shoulder) and Phil Hughes (stress fracture in rib) are expected to travel to New York's spring-training facility in Florida on Thursday to continue rehabbing their injuries. Rodriguez ran in the outfield, played catch, fielded grounders and took batting practice before Wednesday night's game.
  • Indians 3B Andy Marte singled in the fifth to snap an 0-for-14 skid.
  • Martinez went 0-for-3, ending a 15-game hitting streak. The All-Star catcher served as the designated hitter after he was scratched from Tuesday night's game with a stiff neck.
  • The Indians scheduled a doubleheader with Kansas City for Sept. 13 to accommodate a game that was postponed due to rain last week.
  • Wang allowed four hits in seven innings in a 1-0 victory April 27 at Cleveland.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Cliff Lee fires seven scoreless and reduces his major league-best ERA to 0.81.  (AP)
Cliff Lee fires seven scoreless and reduces his major league-best ERA to 0.81. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Abreu
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Cleveland

C. Lee
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 7
 

Related Video

December 18, 2014
Browns at Panthers Preview (2:51)
December 16, 2014
We Need To Talk: Johnny Manziel's poor 1st start
(1:59)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Isaiah Crowell/Terrance West
(0:34)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Josh Gordon
(0:34)
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF2100210 .265
Ben Francisco, RF4020022 .357
    Franklin Gutierrez, RF0000000 .245
David Dellucci, LF4011002 .273
Victor Martinez, DH3001002 .337
Jhonny Peralta, SS4120001 .229
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B2000200 .187
Casey Blake, 1B3011001 .206
Kelly Shoppach, C3000101 .256
Andy Marte, 3B3110011 .105
   a- Travis Hafner, PH1000001 .209
    Jamey Carroll, 3B0000000 .225
Totals2937354  
a-grounded into a double play for Marte in the 9th
Batting
SF - Victor Martinez (1)
SH - Casey Blake (1)
RBI - David Dellucci (13), Victor Martinez (11), Casey Blake (20)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake (8)
CS - Grady Sizemore (2, 3rd base by Wang/Molina), Ben Francisco (2, 2nd base by Farnsworth/Molina)
Team LOB - 6
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,6-0) 7600070 0.81
Rafael Perez (H,4) 1100010 3.86
Rafael Betancourt (S,4) 1000000 5.52
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 103-76, Rafael Perez 10-9, Rafael Betancourt 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 8-6, Rafael Perez 1-1, Rafael Betancourt 1-2
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 27, Rafael Perez 4, Rafael Betancourt 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4000000 .273
Derek Jeter, SS4000020 .300
Bobby Abreu, RF4020010 .305
Shelley Duncan, 1B4010011 .192
Hideki Matsui, DH4010012 .339
Melky Cabrera, CF4010011 .279
Robinson Cano, 2B4010001 .160
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3010012 .226
Jose Molina, C3000013 .219
Totals3407008  
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (5, R. Perez), Shelley Duncan (2, Lee)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Bobby Abreu 1
DP - Molina-Duncan
New York Yankees
Chien-Ming Wang (L,6-1) 7533340 3.12
Kyle Farnsworth 1100000 3.18
Jonathan Albaladejo 1100200 4.76
Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 99-65, Kyle Farnsworth 12-5, Jonathan Albaladejo 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 7-9, Jonathan Albaladejo 2-0
Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 28, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Jonathan Albaladejo 5
Game Information
Attendance - 50199
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Gerry Davis