Yankees smash 5 homers, 18 hits in 14-1 rout of Indians

Brett Gardner celebrates with Kevin Youkilis of the

Brett Gardner celebrates with Kevin Youkilis of the Yankees after Youkilis hit a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians. (April 9, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

CLEVELAND -- It might be a bit premature to bury that Bronx Bombers nickname after all.

A Yankees lineup that most thought would go through a seasonlong power outage erupted for a third straight game Tuesday night. Pounding out 18 hits, including five home runs, and getting another strong outing from Andy Pettitte, the Yankees hammered the Indians, 14-1, at Progressive Field.

"It's been fun to watch the last few days, that's for sure,'' said Pettitte, who allowed one run and five hits in seven innings.

Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch homered as the Yankees (4-4) won their third straight game, a streak in which they have totaled 32 runs and 44 hits. Their 15 homers lead the American League.

"Tonight was a good night for everybody,'' said Brett Gardner, who went 4-for-5 after going 2-for-18 the first four games of this trip. "We're definitely feeding off of each other.''

Cano followed Monday's standout performance (3-for-4, two homers) by going 4-for-6 with five RBIs, including a two-run homer, two-run double and run-scoring double.

Six games into the season, Cano hardly resembled the player who was the MVP of the World Baseball Classic after hitting .469 with two homers and six RBIs. Entering this series, he was hitting .130 without an RBI.

"He's easily the best hitter on this team in my mind,'' Youkilis said. "I think a lot of people thought he wasn't ever going to hit, but we knew that wasn't the case.''

Cano's two-run shot in the fourth made it 7-0 and led to the ejection of Carlos Carrasco, who hit the next batter, Youkilis. Carrasco left his first appearance since 2011 without protest, perhaps pleased that plate umpire Jordan Baker kept his final line (seven runs, seven hits in 32/3 innings) from getting worse.

Youkilis wouldn't bite when asked if he thought Carrasco hit him intentionally -- "I'm not an umpire, I'm not the judge,'' he said -- but Joe Girardi did.

Girardi was asked if he was surprised to see Carrasco tossed. "No, I'm not,'' he said. "I mean, that was right in the middle of his back after a home run.''

Youkilis would get his revenge, in a manner of speaking, in the sixth, slugging a two-run homer to make it 9-0. He connected off Brett Myers, who had been Wednesday night's scheduled starter but instead replaced Carrasco.

Pettitte (2-0, 1.20 ERA), who helped the Yankees to their first victory of the season Thursday against the Red Sox, was sharp again. The 40-year-old lefthander mostly toyed with the Indians, shutting them out for five innings before Asdrubal Cabrera led off the sixth with a homer.

Pettitte said, "It's tough sometimes to pitch with too big of a lead,'' but he enjoyed what the Yankees' offense has produced the last three games.

"We're going to have bad weeks, we're going to lose some games,'' Pettitte said. "But if we stay healthy and our pitching stays healthy, we're going to score some runs. It's good to get on a little stretch right here and win some ballgames.''

Youkilis said the offense's early struggle wasn't representative of what the Yankees can do.

"I think we all had confidence within ourselves,'' Youkilis said. "That's probably been the biggest talk, that nobody's had confidence in us. So we stick together and keep having good at-bats and go out every day and try to do that.''

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