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05/04/08 8:00 PM ET

Yanks waiting for Cano to break out

New York (17-16) vs. Cleveland (14-17), Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET

NEW YORK -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows that Robinson Cano is going to hit.

Sooner -- like Tuesday, when the Yankees will host the Indians in the opener of a three-game series -- would be much better than later for the second baseman to bust loose.

"It's just a matter of time," Girardi said on Sunday after Cano, who is in a prolonged slump, went 1-for-4 with a home run in an 8-2 win over the Mariners that gave the Yankees a three-game sweep.

Cano, who batted .306 with 19 homers and 97 RBIs last season and .342 with 15 homers and 78 RBIs in 2006, is off to a rough start. Even with his homer on Sunday, he entered Monday's off-day with a .154 batting average, three homers, eight RBIs and 15 strikeouts.

Cano has only four hits in his past 38 at-bats, six in his past 49 and nine in his past 64.

Girardi has joked that 90 percent of a baseball field has no people standing on it and has thought about telling Cano to hit the ball where those people aren't located.

"The kid is going to hit," Girardi said. "It's just not happening right now. I think his approach is good. He has always been an aggressive hitter, and he has always been one to swing at some balls out of the zone. But we knew that going in.

"The thing about Robbie is, he can hit good pitches that aren't good pitches to hit. When he's going well, he'll hit them. He might hit some pitches that are balls for base hits. So it's just a matter of turning it around for him."

Girardi, adding that Cano has maintained a good attitude and work habits, said he hasn't thought about giving Cano a few days on the bench.

"We just need to get him going," Girardi said.

Pitching matchup
CLE: RHP Fausto Carmona (3-1, 2.60 ERA)
While he owned the eighth-best ERA in the American League entering Sunday, Carmona had also led the AL with 26 walks.

NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.93 ERA)
Pettitte has given up four homers and 15 hits over his past two starts, both losses. He is also 1-4 against the Indians in his career at Yankee Stadium.

To create space on their 40-man roster for Darrell Rasner, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make his season debut against the Mariners on Sunday, the Yankees moved right-hander Brian Bruney, out with a Lisfranc injury of the right foot, from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL and optioned right-hander Ian Kennedy to Triple-A. ... The top four batters in the Yankees' lineup are a combined 21-for-37 (.568) with 11 runs scored and nine RBIs over the team's past two games. ... Derek Jeter had his first four-hit game of the season on Sunday and has seven hits in his past nine at-bats. ... The Yankees outscored the Mariners, 19-4, in the three-game sweep.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, 6-0, 3.00) vs. Indians (Cliff Lee, 5-0, 0.96), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Yankees (Mike Mussina, 3-3, 3.93) vs. Cleveland (Paul Byrd, 1-2, 3.74), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Yankees (TBD) at Tigers (TBD), 7:05 p.m. ET

Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.