WP - Sabathia (5-3) LP - Carmona (2-5)
The Yankees are all about streaks these days. Winning streaks, hitting streaks, errorless streaks. CC Sabathia won his fourth straight decision last night and the Yankees pounded the Cleveland Indians 10-5. It was the Yankees third straight win and 14th in the last 17 games. It also pushed their lead over the Boston Red Sox to 1.5 games in the AL East and kept the Toronto Blue Jays at the same distance.
Sabathia was pitching for the first time back in the city and on the mound where he cut his teeth. He’d had a no-decision in the Yankees opening day loss to the Indians back on April 6, but this was his first time facing his old team. He loosened up prior to the game by playing a video baseball game with reliever Brian Bruney and then went out and through seven effective innings for his fifth win of the season.
The Yankees got on the board in the 2nd with solo home runs by Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher for a 2-0 lead and knocked Indians starter Fausto Carmona from the game with a 5-run 4th inning. The Yankees loaded the bases on a Hideki Matsui double, a walk to Swisher, and a Ryan Garko throwing error that allowed Brett Gardner to reach base safely.
Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bouncer through the middle for a 2-run single and a 4-0 Yankees’ advantage. Johnny Damon followed Jeter’s lead by ripping an RBI single to right to score Gardner and three batters later, Robinson Cano finished off the inning with a 2-run single for a 7-0 Yankees lead.
Sabathia was dominant for the first four innings, allowing just a lone base runner on a walk. But a harmless grounder back through the box by Shin-Soo Choo in the 5th led to a pair of Indians runs. Sabathia suddenly lost the sharp command he had exhibited early, and singles by Mark DeRosa, Garko, and Jamey Carroll, cut the Yankees lead to 7-2.
An inning later, Sabathia surrendered a solo home run to Grady Sizemore, but got Choo to bounce into an inning ending double play after he walked Jhonny Peralta. Sabathia also escaped trouble in the 7th inning, after he hit Garko with a pitch and walked Carroll, ending his night by striking out Asdrubel Cabrera swinging. All in all, it was a good homecoming for the big man who called Cleveland home for 8 1/2 big league seasons.
The Yankees did not commit an error for a franchise record 16th straight game. It’s also gives them a share of the second longest streak in MLB history with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees have a chance to tie the longest streak, held by the 2006 Boston Red Sox, this afternoon.
Mark Teixeira was 2-5 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Robinson Cano has a 7-game hitting streak (12-32, .375) and has 3 HR and 13 RBI in his last 10 games.
After the game, the Indians placed Grady Sizemore on the 15-Day DL with inflammation in his left elbow. The injury had limited Sizemore to only appearing as the DH.
Indians catcher/1st Baseman Victor Martinez fouled a ball of his left knee and had to leave the game after finishing his at-bat. X-Rays were negative, but it’s unlikely he will play today.
Phil Hughes goes for his third straight win this afternoon (12:40 p.m. ET) against ex-Yankee Carl Pavano, who pitched effectively in a no-decision against the Yankees on April 19.