With CC Sabathia allowing only two runs in a complete-game victory over the Braves on Monday night, the Yankees locked up their first 10-game winning streak since 2005. The entire Yankees rotation has been simply dominant, putting together a 12-1 record and 1.97 ERA (114 1/3 IP, 25 ER) with 114 strikeouts to 25 walks in June and a 2.09 ERA (69 IP, 16 ER) during their current winning streak.
Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will look to continue that dominant stretch Tuesday night against the Braves and right-hander Tim Hudson, who took the loss when these two pitchers squared off Wednesday in Atlanta.
"I just think they're pitching the way they're capable. They're making pitches when they have to, they're locating pitches, they're mixing well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I just think they're on a roll right now, and they're feeding off each other. No one wants to be outdone by the guy before."
Kuroda will have a hard time topping Sabathia's outing, but he has pitched well as of late. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning on June 8, then struck out a season-high eight batters Wednesday as he allowed two runs over six innings. Kuroda hasn't lost since May 21.
Hudson wasn't so fortunate his last time out, as he pitched well against the Yankees on Wednesday then allowed a two-run homer in the sixth inning that proved to be his undoing. Still, he allowed only three runs over six innings while striking out eight, and that was coming off a five-hit shutout in Miami on June 5.
"It seemed like every time Kuroda needed to make a pitch or get a strikeout, he got it," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said Wednesday. "We just couldn't break through with the big hit to get the game tied. We got the big hit to take the lead, and they came right back to hit one of Huddy's few mistakes."
Braves: Beachy diagnosed with partially torn UCL
Right-hander Brandon Beachy underwent an MRI in Atlanta on Monday, and the results revealed a partially torn ulner collateral ligament in his right elbow. Beachy, who leads the Majors with a 2.00 ERA, will visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. Beachy left his start Saturday due to discomfort in his elbow, and it doesn't appear he'll be returning to the Braves' rotation anytime soon.
"With these things, you kind of have a sense of it when they happen," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "It's kind of hard to be real optimistic right now."
Atlanta is hoping Freddie Freeman will return to the lineup Tuesday. Freeman, who has been dealing with a swollen left index finger since getting hit by a Jose Reyes throw on June 7, hasn't been in the Braves' starting lineup since last Tuesday and received two cortisone shots Saturday night.
"I'm going to have to play through pain the rest of the year," Freeman said. "But we've got to get it to a point where I can play through it."
Yankees: Swisher's bruised thigh improving
After bruising his left thigh in a home-plate collision Saturday and sitting out Sunday, Nick Swisher tried to take batting practice Monday but couldn't do so without discomfort. Swisher said his thigh felt "improved, but I'm not quite there yet." Girardi didn't know before Monday's game whether Swisher would be available to pinch-hit but was optimistic Swisher he will be back soon.
"It's a bone bruise. It's going to go away," Girardi said. "Is it another day after [Monday]? Possibly. Do I expect to have him in the next couple days? I do."
Outfielder Brett Gardner is hopeful that he'll rejoin the Yankees shortly after the All-Star break, and Girardi wasn't opposed to that projection. Gardner has played in only nine games this season and has been out since April 17 due to a strained right elbow.
The Braves have been held to two runs or fewer in five of their last seven games.
Monday night was the Yankees' 22nd comeback win of the season and their 10th straight victory against an above-.500 opponent.