Girardi believes Yanks 'have a run in them'

Girardi believes Yanks 'have a run in them'

CLEVELAND -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows his ballclub has a run in them. The hope is that run is near.

With the All-Star break looming, New York is staring down a four-series stretch that pits them against three different first-place teams. The lone non-first place club is the Red Sox, who are currently a Wild Card team.

"I believe in our guys," Girardi. "I know it's been up, down. One step forward, two back, two forward. I believe they have a run in them. It's got to start pretty soon."

The Yankees begin the four-series gauntlet with a four-game set against the Indians at Progressive Field. Cleveland enters Thursday's slate with a 51-33 record and is less than a week removed from an MLB-best 14-game win streak.

"It starts with their starting pitching," Girardi. "It's been very good. They don't beat themselves. It starts with that, and they play good defense. They run the bases well and have some power, too."

Following the All-Star break, the Yankees will have 10-game homestand, where they welcome the Red Sox, Orioles and Giants -- an important stretch of games for a ballclub that sits at 41-43 with an eight-game deficit in the AL East.

This stretch should tell a lot about the Yankees. It may ultimately factor into whether or not they are going to be buyers or sellers at the Trade Deadline, which is why this four-game set can ultimately set the table for them.

But at the same time, Girardi knows he has to make sure his guys make it to the All-Star break healthy, which is why he put Carlos Beltran in the lineup as a designated hitter and not in the field, something Girardi said he might do for the remainder of the series.

"Protecting his leg. We're not out of the woods," Girardi. "It's a way we keep him close and puts him at less risk."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.