Jimenez, who came over from the Rockies in a Trade Deadline deal, is 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA in June after an inconsistent first two months of the season. The right-hander will look to keep his strong month going when he takes the mound for Cleveland in Wednesday afternoon's series finale against the Yankees in the Bronx.
"It's a different ballgame for him right now," Indians manager Manny Acta said recently. "His command issues are much better now than they were at the beginning of the season. Earlier in the year, when his command wasn't there, he got into some situations where as soon as he gets a couple of guys on base, things just unraveled for him."
The Indians desperately need another strong start from Jimenez -- 7-5 with a 4.59 ERA -- who pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball in has last outing, against Houston. After a solid home series against the Reds, Cleveland's offense has continued to struggle. The Indians have scored only nine runs in their last five games, and they're scoring 3.9 runs per game this month.
It won't get any easier on Wednesday, when the Indians face lefty Andy Pettitte. Cleveland is 5-15 against left-handers this season, and a win over the Yankees, who have won four straight, would prevent a fifth consecutive loss for the Tribe.
The 40-year-old lefty turned in one of his worst performances of the season on Friday against the Mets, giving up five runs in the first inning to take his first loss since May 29.
"That was the game," Pettitte said afterward. "I blew it from the get-go. I felt like I got in a pretty good rhythm later in the game. It's frustrating, that's for sure. "
Friday's first inning against the Mets not withstanding, Pettitte has had a solid year after coming out of retirement. He's gone at least six innings in each of his eight starts, and he hasn't walked more than three in any start. He's 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA on the season.
Indians: Club optimistic about Hernandez's return
Roberto Hernandez -- formerly Fausto Carmona -- hasn't pitched for the Indians this season, but his return to Cleveland may be close, according to manager Manny Acta. Hernandez remains in his native Dominican Republic after being arrested on Jan. 19 for using a false name.
"He's anxious to come up here and be part of it," Acta said on Tuesday. "He wins and loses with us, even if he's far away, and we are expecting him to come up here sooner rather than later."
The Indians restructured Hernandez's contract after he was arrested, and they are hopeful he won't receive a suspension from Major League Baseball when he returns to the U.S.
Designated hitter Travis Hafner, out with a right knee injury, is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. Hafner hasn't played since May 23.
Yankees: Cano passes Kinsler for All-Star voting lead
Robinson Cano has passed Texas' Ian Kinsler for the All-Star voting lead among American League second basemen. Cano was more than 100,000 votes ahead of Kinsler in the latest results, released on Monday.
Cano has gotten hot at the plate of late, and fans have taken notice. He's hitting .344 (11-for-32) with six home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games. On the season, Cano is hitting .301 with 17 homers and 39 RBIs.
Catcher Russell Martin, fighting lower back stiffness, was out of the Yankees' lineup for a third consecutive day on Tuesday. Manager Joe Girardi said Martin will probably play on Wednesday if his body responds well to batting practice.
"I don't really want to send a player out there [if] his swing is not what his swing [normally] is because he's having some issues," Girardi said. "I think you can get in some bad habits and you can risk further injury."
Jimenez won his only career start against the Yankees on June 24, 2011, with Colorado. He allowed two runs over seven innings in a 4-2 Rockies win.
Pettitte has the most starting experience of any Yankees pitcher against the Indians. He's 8-11 with a 4.62 ERA in 24 career starts against the Tribe.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter went 2-for-5 on Tuesday, his 38th birthday.