Yankees 5, Rays 3
CC Sabathia twirled on the mound, gave a shout and violently
punched the air.
Far from a must-win, it certainly was a welcomed one for the New
York Yankees and their ace.
Sabathia outpitched David Price for the first time in six career
matchups between the All-Star lefties, Robinson Cano and Curtis
Granderson homered and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3
”CC seems to be the big guy right now,” Yankees manager Joe
Sabathia (5-0) struck out 10 as New York overcame a pair of
early errors by third baseman Eduardo Nunez and sent Tampa Bay to
its fourth loss in five games.
Sabathia punctuated his outing by fanning B.J. Upton with two
runners on base to end the seventh inning with the Yankees leading
5-2. The burly pitcher let loose, catcher Chris Stewart pumped his
fist and Upton pounded his bat in the ground after swinging over a
”I was fired up I was going to make pitches to B.J. Upton,”
Sabathia allowed two unearned runs in eight innings – the fourth
straight start he’s gone exactly that long. He finished up by
striking out Carlos Pena, who slung his bat all the way to the
Tampa Bay dugout in disgust.
Rafael Soriano gave up a run in the ninth for a save in his
first try of the season. In 2010, he led the AL in saves with Tampa
Soriano yielded a single and an RBI grounder, a night after the
Rays scored four runs in the ninth off fill-in closer David
Robertson. Girardi said he wasn’t going to use Robertson for a
third straight day, but was OK to do it with Soriano.
Sabathia appreciated the support from his hitters and relief.
The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner had won just twice in 14 starts
against the Rays since putting on the pinstripes. Price had been a
particular nemesis, too, with Tampa Bay winning all five previous
times he faced Sabathia.
”I didn’t know that stat that I hadn’t beat him,” Sabathia
Price (5-1) never found a rhythm and gave up 11 hits, many of
them well tagged. Trying to win five consecutive starts for the
first time in his career, he instead wound up on the wrong end of
another personal first – never before had two left-handed hitters
homered off him in the same game.
”I made some good pitches tonight, they hit them, that’s it,”
Price said. ”It’s a good hitting team. You make mistakes and they
Granderson lined a solo shot into the second deck in right field
in the second. Cano’s two-run drive in the fifth made it 4-2 and
sailed far over the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center.
Nunez started in the field while Alex Rodriguez served as the
designated hitter. Nunez misplayed a grounder in the first and made
a wild throw in the second. He also singled twice, walked and stole
two bases, and was taken out after five innings with New York up
Girardi said it was a ”tough night” in the field for Nunez,
adding the Yankees might have to re-evaluate how they use him on
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher threw out a runner at the
plate to end the first. He singled to set up Cano’s go-ahead
NOTES: Yankees OF Brett Gardner (strained right elbow) had
swelling after a Triple-A game Wednesday and will not swing a bat
for 10 days. ”We’re going to be without Gardy for a while,”
Girardi said. Girardi estimated it could be 15 to 25 days, but
didn’t think it would be a ”three-month” absence. … Price had
allowed just six homers to lefty hitters in 613 2-3 career innings
coming into the game. … Robertson’s ninth-inning troubles
Wednesday night left him 1 for 2 in save tries since replacing
injured Mariano Rivera. ”I really believe this kid is going to
bounce back,” Girardi said. … Yankees reserve 3B-1B Eric Chavez
was eligible to come off the 7-day DL for concussions, but Girardi
said he hadn’t passed all the Major League Baseball tests. … Rays
OF Matt Joyce said he felt better and didn’t expect to miss any
time after twisting his left ankle while hitting a go-ahead home
run Wednesday night. Joyce fell down and wound up sprawled across
the plate, prompting Price to kid him. ”He said I need to work on
my dismount,” Joyce said. Joyce didn’t start as the Rays went with
mostly righty hitters vs. Sabathia.