NEW YORK -- Watching on the clubhouse TV at Yankee Stadium while Cleveland's lead kept dwindling, Carlos Carrasco insisted he was totally confident.
"I thought we were OK," he said. "I never think negatively."
The last-place Indians improved to 4-1 against New York this year. A night after holding off the Yankees 3-2, Cleveland remained the only sub-.500 team in the majors with a winning record on the road.
"They've given us trouble," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I've said it always, the one thing about baseball, it doesn't make sense."
Carrasco (12-9) outpitched Masahiro Tanaka (9-6), giving up one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Carrasco has permitted just six runs in his last five starts. Soon after he left with a 4-1 lead, the Yankees crept closer and closer.
"They were coming," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Alex Rodriguez bounced an RBI single in the eighth off Zach McAllister that made it 4-2. With two outs, second baseman Jose Ramirez let an easy grounder roll between his legs for an error that produced another run.
"I trust my teammates, I trust my bullpen," Carrasco said.
Allen finished for his career-high 25th save in 28 chances. On Thursday night, he escaped his own ninth-inning jam for a save.
Michael Brantley hit his second RBI single of the game during a three-run ninth as Cleveland broke away. Santana beat out a double-play relay for the final run.
Santana lined his 14th home run, all left-handed by the switch-hitter, leading off the sixth against Tanaka for a 3-1 lead. The homer came on the first pitch after catcher Brian McCann lunged into the stands for a foul popup, but had the ball glance off his glove -- a fan in the front row held up a piece of paper, trying to shield his baby, and that seemed to tangle up McCann.
"Thank you for the baby," Santana said.
Ramirez tripled, singled twice and walked.
Indians: Francona says it's too soon to determine how rookie RHP Cody Anderson (strained left oblique), out since early August, would be used upon his return. Anderson was 2/3 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts. Francona said Cleveland wouldn't use a six-man rotation for the entire final month.
Yankees: Pitcher Bryan Mitchell, recovering from a nasal fracture after being hit in the head by a line drive Monday, has done work on the treadmill and is ready to begin playing catch, Girardi said. ... RHP Michael Pineda (forearm strain) threw 62 pitches for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in his second and perhaps final rehab start.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (11-6, 3.16 ERA) aims to beat the Yankees for the second time in 11 days. He pitched into the eighth inning and held them to one run last week at home.
Yankees: Former star catcher Jorge Posada will have his No. 20 retired and be honored with a plaque in Monument Park before Saturday's game. "This is a kid we all saw grow up in front of us and become a superstar," Girardi said. Posada took over for Girardi in the late 1990s as the team's starter behind the plate. ... 21-year-old rookie Luis Severino makes his fourth start, trying for his first MLB win. He pitched well in a loss at Cleveland last week.
STATS AND STUFF
Yankees hitters struck out 13 times, their highest total in a nine-inning game since fanning 15 times vs. Cleveland last August. ... With only two matchups left, the Indians have clinched just their third season series win against the Yankees since 1993. ... Brantley has 10 multihit performances in his last 13 games.
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