(Sports Network) - Cleveland fans get their first look at new manager Terry
Francona on Monday when the Indians kick off their home slate against the New
York Yankees at Progressive Field.
Francona, of course, is no stranger to the Yankees, having faced them from
2004-11 as manager of the Boston Red Sox. Now, though, he guides an Indians
team that returns home after a 3-3 road trip to start the season.
Cleveland salvaged the finale of its three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays on
Sunday, as Carlos Santana went 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBI and Mark
Reynolds went deep twice and drove in four runs to help the Indians get past
David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays, 13-0.
The Indians, after getting shut out in the first two games of the set, came
alive with 17 hits -- five via the long ball. Lonnie Chisenhall belted a
three-run homer and Michael Bourn added a solo shot in the rout.
"They were just crushing balls," winning starter Justin Masterson said of
Cleveland's offense. "It was pretty cool to see."
Francona won't be the only familiar face across the way, as Cleveland first
baseman Nick Swisher will be facing his former team for the first time since
signing a 4-year, $56 million deal this offseason.
"Oh, man, that's going to be the jam," Swisher said. "How much fun is that
going to be? I mean, Opening Day sold out in six minutes? I think it's great,
man. This city is so excited for us this year. There's a buzz in the 216
(Cleveland area code), man, and we're super excited to get back there."
Also playing in Cleveland for the first time as a visitor will be Yankees
designated hitter Travis Hafner, who spent the last 10 years with the Indians.
Hafner clubbed 200 home runs during his decade-long tenure with the Indians.
"I think it'll be fun to go back there and see everybody," Hafner said. "I've
known the front office for a long time, teammates, clubhouse workers, guys who
work at the stadium who I've gotten to be good friends with. Really, just a
bunch of people would be good to see."
New York didn't miss Swisher on Sunday, as it banged Justin Verlander around
and avoided a three-game sweep with a 7-0 win. CC Sabathia outdueled the
former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner with seven scoreless innings that saw
him allow just four singles, as the Yankees won for only the second time in
six tries to start the season.
"CC really has a lot of pride in what he does and understands the ace role and
that we needed to win a game today," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Jayson Nix hit a two-run homer for New York, while Francisco Cervelli and
Kevin Youkilis also knocked in two runs apiece.
New York will rely on Japanese righty Hiroki Kuroda, who didn't make it out of
the second inning in his season debut. Kuroda was banged around for two runs
and four hits in just 1 1/3 innings, but left with a bruise on his finger
after getting hit with a line drive.
"I'd have to say I don't feel normal (to not pitch)," Kuroda said. "I feel a
little discomfort there. It's a batted ball that hit my hand in my fingers, so
that's natural, I think."
Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who was
terrific his first time out. Jimenez didn't get a win against Toronto, but was
solid, allowing just a run and three hits in six innings. He also struck out
six and walked a pair.
"I thought he was outstanding," Francona said. "His secondary stuff, his
direction to the plate, down, everything."
The Yankees took five of six from the Indians last season.
The Sports Network