Down 2-0 to the Indians in the American League Division Series presented by Doosan, the Yankees aren't shaking things up with their lineup in a must-win Game 3, scheduled for tonight at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, beginning at 7:30 ET on FS1. They also won't have to face Edwin Encarnacion, whose sprained right ankle is not yet healed enough for him to start.
Tribe manager Terry Francona said he doubted Encarnacion would be able to play at all in Game 3, even in a pinch-hit capacity.
"Unless you see him pulling a Willis Reed, he's probably not going to be available tonight," Francona said before the game.
In Encarnacion's absence, the Tribe will slot Jay Bruce into the cleanup spot. Bruce has crushed the Yanks in the series -- homering in the first two games, including a game-tying eighth-inning shot in Game 2 in Cleveland.
Michael Brantley, who replaced Encarnacion at designated hitter after he rolled his ankle scrambling back to second base on a double play in the first inning of Game 2, will start at DH in Encarnacion's place. Brantley will bat seventh, with Bruce filling Encarnacion's No. 4 spot in the order.
:: ALDS schedule and coverage ::
"I think if we have an injury, it's awful nice having him able to slide in there," Francona said. "We hit him seventh tonight just because he hasn't been playing much. He's not a [No.] 7 hitter."
The Indians will send Carlos Carrasco to the mound looking to close things out, while the Yankees will counter with Masahiro Tanaka, as they look to force a Game 4 on Monday.
New York is rolling with the same nine starting position players it did in Game 2, with the only change in the batting order being a swap of Aaron Hicks and Todd Frazier. Frazier will bat seventh and Hicks will bat ninth, the opposite of where they hit in Game 2.
The top of the Yanks' order will once again be Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, as it has been for all the Bronx Bombers' postseason games. Didi Gregorius will remain in the cleanup spot, followed by Starlin Castro and Greg Bird. Jacoby Ellsbury is starting at designated hitter over Chase Headley and Matthew Holliday, as he did in Game 2, and will bat eighth between Frazier and Hicks.
"Ellsbury has had a lot of success off Carrasco," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game. "We put Frazier [in the No. 7 spot], but he's also had a lot of success."
The Indians will keep their top third intact: Francisco Lindor will lead off Game 3, followed by Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez. Then comes Bruce at cleanup, with Carlos Santana batting fifth. Austin Jackson, who went 2-for-5 and scored the winning run in Game 2, will start in left field over Lonnie Chisenhall in Game 3 -- despite Chisenhall having the lefty-righty platoon advantage against Tanaka -- and bat sixth. Roberto Perez will follow Brantley in the No. 8 hole, while Giovanny Urshela will bat ninth.
Cleveland will continue to rotate its catchers, with Perez drawing the Game 3 start over Yan Gomes. Perez started Game 1, while Gomes started Game 2 and had the walk-off hit in the 13th inning.
Here are the starting lineups for Game 3:
- Francisco Lindor, SS
- Jason Kipnis, CF
- Jose Ramirez, 2B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Carlos Santana, 1B
- Austin Jackson, LF
- Michael Brantley, DH
- Roberto Perez, C
- Giovanny Urshela, 3B
Carlos Carrasco, P
- Brett Gardner, LF
- Aaron Judge, RF
- Gary Sanchez, C
- Didi Gregorius, SS
- Starlin Castro, 2B
- Greg Bird, 1B
- Todd Frazier, 3B
- Jacoby Ellsbury, DH
- Aaron Hicks, CF
Masahiro Tanaka, P