Sabathia, Yankees shut down Sox
NEW YORK — CC Sabathia pitched 7 1/3 sharp innings for his first win in over a month while Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis made contributions in their returns from the disabled list, helping the New York Yankees snap a season-high five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Sabathia (5-4) allowed a Mike Napoli RBI double with one out in the seventh among the three hits he yielded while striking out 10 without a walk. He took a shutout into the seventh but navigated through his most challenging inning by using his slider effectively.
After Dustin Pedroia opened the seventh inning with a double to right, David Ortiz got ahead 2-0, but Sabathia got consecutive swings and misses before the Boston designated hitter lightly tapped a slider for a groundout to first base. Sabathia lost his shutout bid when Napoli doubled to deep right field, but recovered to strike out Stephen Drew on a slider and retire David Ross on a groundout to second.
Sabathia won for the first time since beating Toronto on April 27. In between victories he had been 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA in five starts, a stretch that equaled the second-longest period of his career without a win.
After Sabathia retired Jackie Bradley Jr, he walked off to a standing ovation and was replaced by David Robertson. Robertson recorded the final two outs of the eighth, and Mariano Rivera allowed two hits in the ninth but retired Napoli and Drew for his 19th save in 20 opportunities.
After missing New York’s first 53 games recovering from a right wrist injury, Teixeira drew a walk, scored New York’s first run and made eight putouts at first base. Youkilis returned following a 30-game absence with a back injury and had an RBI single in the fifth.
Jon Lester (6-2) allowed four runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings and dropped his second straight decision as the Red Sox lost for the sixth time in their last 17 games.
Teixeira led off the second with a walk in his first plate appearance and scored on Jayson Nix’s RBI single to left field. The Yankees made it 2-0 on Ichiro Suzuki’s line drive base hit to left that scored Vernon Wells.
Sabathia gave up two-out doubles to Pedroia and Ross in each of the opening two innings but stranded them in scoring position. He allowed just one more base runner through five.
Sabathia started a run of four straight strikeouts by getting Napoli to end the fourth before fanning Drew, Ross and Bradley in the fifth.
Lester retired the side in the third and fourth before hitting David Adams with a pitch to start the fifth. He retired Ichiro on a ground out that resulted in Yankee manager Joe Girardi getting ejected by second base umpire Vic Carapazza because he seemed to believe that Drew’s foot came off the bag on a force play. But three batters later Youkilis made it 3-0 with a base hit.
NOTES: To make room for Teixeira and Youkilis, the Yankees optioned RHPs Ivan Nova and Vidal Nuno to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes Barre. Nova, who has not started since April 27 against Toronto, will be stretched out as a starting pitcher after throwing six innings out of the bullpen. Nuno, who made three starts, will also rejoin the rotation in the minors. Teixeira said one thing he will not do is use the weighted bat, which caused his injury in the first place. “The wrist feels great,” Teixeira said. “It really does. I’ve had a similar injury on my left wrist so now it’s even. I’m more symmetrical. There’s no soreness, no stiffness. There’s nothing to make anybody think there’s something wrong with the wrist.” ... Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury sat out with tightness in his groin that he felt while stealing his fifth base on Thursday in Philadelphia. ... Red Sox OF Shane Victorino (strained left hamstring) and 3B Will Middlebrooks (lower back strain) are both on track to return on time from the DL. Victorino has felt no issues while doing baseball activities and is expected to spend two days on a minor-league rehab assignment before returning on June 5. Middlebrooks has been running and swinging the bat and is on track to return June 8. The Red Sox will take early batting practice Saturday and both players are expected to participate. ... The Yankees announced that their May 19 postponed game against the Toronto Blue Jays will be made up as a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 20.