Jhonny Peralta hits a three-run homer.
Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs off Andy Pettitte to lead the Indians over the New York Yankees, 6-4, Friday night at Progressive Field. It broke Cleveland's eight-game losing streak to the Yanks in regular-season play and extended the Tribe's current winning streak to four games. Paul Byrd got the win with Rafael Perez and Rafael Betancourt pitching exceptional relief.
Peralta's three-run homer off Pettitte in the fifth inning turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Franklin Gutierrez followed with another homer.
Jason Giambi hit two long homers and Hideki Matsui also went deep for the Yankees off Byrd (1-2, 4.85 ERA), who allowed four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander didn't walk or strike out anybody.
"He can be tough to hit because he knows how to pitch," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He throws the ball in and out, up and down, softer and harder. Those popups you see are because everything he throws has movement."
Perez (5.25 ERA) then allowed only one walk over 2 1/3 innings and Betancourt (3.27 ERA) worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save in two nights.
Peralta's RBI single in the first put Cleveland ahead, 1-0, but Giambi tied it with his fourth homer, into the Indians' bullpen in center in the second. The first baseman followed a single by Jorge Posada in the fourth with a 455-foot blast to right to make it 3-1.
"I see the ball well here, really enjoy playing at this ballpark," said Giambi, who has homered in five straight games in Cleveland and in seven of his past eight.
Every run in the game came with two out and Pettitte admitted that the Indians' dogged approach at bat tired him.
"I ran out of gas," the lefty said. "They went deep into the count and just wore me out."
Travis Hafner (.230) and Victor Martinez (.365) reached on two-out singles in the fifth before Peralta (.256) sent a high changeup over the wall in left for his fifth homer. Gutierrez (.229) then hit his second homer of the season -- and first since his first time up on opening day, even deeper into the bleachers in left.
Matsui's homer brought New York within 5-4, but Grady Sizemore (.264) drew a two-out walk off former Cleveland lefty Billy Traber and stole second in the sixth. Jamey Carroll (.250), who had two hits and two stolen bases, then floated an RBI single to left, scoring Sizemore.
NOTABLE: LHP Jeremy Sowers is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and start tomorrow's game. No word on who may be sent down to make room on the roster, though OF Ben Francisco or RHP Tom Mastny, each of whom opened the season with the Bisons, could be returning. On Monday, LHP Aaron Laffey is expected to be recalled to start the finale of the four-game series.