Sabathia improved to 18-7 after allowing two runs on 10 hits while striking out 10 over six innings at Fenway Park in Boston last night. Sabathia threw a season-high 128 pitches.
“CC was great, he battled all night,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters. “He made some really good pitches when he had to and got some strikeouts when he had to.”
The Yankees (81-52) moved to within a half-game of Boston (82-52), which leads Major League Baseball’s American League East division. The teams play again today and tomorrow.
Eric Chavez drove in Robinson Cano with singles in the second and fourth innings, and Cano had a run-scoring double in the fourth as the Yankees took a 3-0 lead.
Carl Crawford hit a fourth-inning home run and Marco Scutaro followed with a run-scoring double to trim New York’s lead before backup catcher Francisco Cervelli hit a 380-foot home run in the fifth to restore New York’s two-run advantage.
Cervelli was hit in the back with a pitch the next time he came to bat in the seventh inning, prompting both benches to empty. Three batters were hit by pitches in the game.
Derek Jeter returned after missing two games with a bruised kneecap and pushed the Yankees’ lead to 5-2 when a run scored on his double-play ground ball in the seventh.
Chavez started at third base in place of Alex Rodriguez, who missed the game and may sit out the rest of the series with a thumb injury. He was hurt on Aug. 21 against Minnesota and aggravated the injury against Baltimore a week later.
John Lackey (12-10) gave up five runs on seven hits in seven innings for the Red Sox, who are 10-3 against the Yankees this year. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera got his 35th save after retiring the Red Sox in the ninth inning, when Girardi was ejected for arguing about whether Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia was hit by a pitch.
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