Jeter ended a streak of 136 at-bats without a home run by hitting a three-run shot in the third inning at Yankee Stadium yesterday. The shortstop added a two-run single in the eighth inning, giving him five RBIs for the fourth time in his career and the first since June 18, 2005.
Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher added home runs, while Sabathia allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts as the Yankees completed a three-game series sweep and won for the seventh time in eight games.
With Boston’s 11-4 loss to the Texas Rangers yesterday, the Yankees (85-53) pushed their American League East lead to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Red Sox. It’s the Yankees’ largest division lead since July 5.
Jeter is batting .346 since returning from the disabled list on July 4, while Swisher has seven homers in his past 13 games. The Yankees lead Major League Baseball with 193 homers this season.
Sabathia, who improved to 19-7, is the first major-leaguer to win 19 or more games in three straight seasons since Randy Johnson (2000-02) and the first AL pitcher to do it since Dave Stewart had four consecutive years with 20 or more wins from 1987-90.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 40th home run in the eighth inning and is the first AL player with consecutive 40-home run seasons since Boston’s David Ortiz (2004-06).
The Rangers scored seven runs in the sixth inning to pull away from the Red Sox yesterday at Fenway Park, with Josh Hamilton hitting a three-run triple. Ian Kinsler added a home run and three RBI for the AL West-leading Rangers, who took two of three games in the series.
The Arizona Diamondbacks pushed their lead to seven games in the National League West with yesterday’s 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants in the finale of their three-game series.
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