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CC Sabathia was pumped last night and he punched out 10 batters in the process. (Image: William Perlman-The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Sabathia's arm, Cano's bat carry Yankees to 5-3 win over Rays

The New York Yankees got everything they needed last night out of CC Sabathia and the offense spearheaded by Robinson Cano provided enough support to make it seem effortless. The Yankees walked away with an important win and series victory over the first-place Rays, 5-3.

Sabathia notched season-highs with 119 pitches and 10 strikeouts in eight innings of work. It marked the fifth straight game that Sabathia has pitched into the eighth inning and fourth straight in which he finished the inning. He allowed two runs, both unearned coming after two errors by Eduardo Nunez in the first and second inning. After the second inning Sabathia faced three batters over the minimum for the rest of his time on the mound.

Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning the Yankees got them right back. Granderson, who was 7-for-34 against Price heading into the game, smoked a homer to right field cutting the deficit to one. Nunez worked a one-out walk and stole second. He came around to score on Chris Stewart‘s single tying the game.

Sabathia and Price traded zeros for a couple innings. In the home half of the fifth, the Yankees pounced on Price. Nick Swisher led off the inning with a single and Cano came up and deposited the first pitch he saw from Price into the right field seats. Alex Rodriguez doubled next and Mark Teixeira walked. Granderson bounced into a double play moving A-Rod to third. Andruw Jones doubled to left giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead.

Meanwhile Sabathia got stronger as the game progressed. Once he was spotted the lead, he was dominant, recording strikeouts for six of the final nine outs. It was a night where the bullpen needed some rest and Sabathia provided it.

With David Robertson unavailable to pitch after two straight games with over 20 pitches, Joe Girardi went with Rafael Soriano to close things out. He gave up an infield hit to Elliot Johnson to start the inning, but it probably should have been an out as Jeter couldn’t get a handle on the ball. Johnson stole second. Soriano proceeded to get two more ground balls to Jeter, who converted both, with the second driving in Johnson. Ben Zobrist lofted a routine fly to center field to end the ball game. The Yankees (17-14) win the series and move to within 2.5 games of the Rays and Baltimore Orioles who are both 20-12.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Brett Gardner is out another 15-25 games according to a tweet from Erik Boland of Newsday.
  • Eric Chavez is awaiting the OK from MLB to return to action after being placed on the mandatory 7-day DL for a concussion.
  • Cano has an eight-game hitting streak; he is 8 for his last 16 with 2 HR and 7 RBIs, lifting his average to .286.
MARINERS Q & A WITH SODO MOJO

I exchanged questions with Harrison Crow, staff writer for Sodo Mojo, FanSided’s Seattle Mariners site in advance of this weekend’s series. Here they are.

1. How are Mariners’ fans taking to Jesus Montero?

I think there is a little excitement. I’m surprised I kind of expected there to be monumental expectations on him, and maybe it’s due to Pineda’s injury, but people have been really patient with him including his struggles to start off the season. In general I think the fans have welcomed him well with their collective breaths held as we’ve already seen one “pure” hitter that was major league ready struggle.

2. For the upcoming series, name a position player Yankees fans should pay attention to. Why?

With a couple of left-handers taking the hill this weekend you should see Alex Liddi at least half a dozen times and while he has yet to prove he’s an every day player he’s done little to disprove it. Pushing towards more time in the field and making it harder for Wedge not to select him for the every day line-up. He’s got quick hands and a powerful stroke that isn’t inhibited by Safeco’s left field. Moving out to a location like Yankee Stadium could procure some righteous tower shots if Yankee pitchers aren’t careful. He’s only got 2 HR’s in 52 PA’s but I’ve personally counted 6 catches on balls that have occurred on the dirt of the outfield track.

Casper Wells is another. He hasn’t had much in the way of time due to some struggles at the plate during spring training. But he’s got great power potential and drives pitches really well. It’s unknown if he’s an every day player but the Mariners are giving opportunities for guys to prove themselves and it’s possible with Gutierrez injury, Ichiro’s uncertain future and Mike Carp‘s limited every day exposure that there could be jobs for next year won (or lost) as early as the first half of this year.

3. Same question among the three starters? Why?

Should he start, Blake Beavan –who was subjected to taking a line drive off the bat of Miguel Cabrera off his elbow–, is a guy that I’m finding more and more to becoming extremely interesting. He gives up a ton of fly balls. A TON! But largely they tend to stay in the field of play. Which is absurd.

He generates plenty of contact so you would think that in general he would be susceptible to a lot of long balls and line drives with big innings but has been mainly been able to avoid much in the way of hard hit balls and induced a lot of weak contact.

Beavan throws a ton of strikes, walks VERY few people and gets outs. He’s a really fascinating pitcher and I’m starting to wonder if he couldn’t become something in the way of a mini Matt Cain that just doesn’t miss many bats. That said he does have an interesting curveball that when on can certainly miss bats at times. His change-up has been known to catch hitters off guard and his size, length and deception is attributed to his low 90’s fastball being so effective.

We’ll see if any of that can remain true after coming out of the game early Monday.

Thanks to Harrison for his insight.

TODAY’S GAME

Hiroki Kuroda is set to face Felix Hernandez in the series opener with the Mariners. This is the beginning of a 10-game road trip for the M’s.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Later today, look out for Friday’s weekly feature, Outside the Bronx: MLB Notebook. This is a bullet point style glance at what’s happening with the rest of MLB.

You can ‘Like’ Yanks Go Yard on Facebook here. You can follow Yanks Go Yard on Twitter at @YanksGoYardFS and you can follow Chris Carelli on Twitter at @Chris_Carelli.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez Andruw Jones Ben Zobrist Brett Gardner CC Sabathia Curtis Granderson David Robertson Derek Jeter Eduardo Nunez Eric Chavez Felix Hernandez Hiroki Kuroda Jesus Montero Joe Girardi Mark Teixeira Matt Cain New York Yankees Rafael Soriano Recap Robinson Cano Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Rays Yankees

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