CC Sabathia pitches Yankees over Twins, clinch series
Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – CC Sabathia pitched eight strong innings as the New York Yankees edged closer to the American League East title with an 8-2 series-clinching triumph over the Minnesota Twins Wednesday at Target Field.
The victory extended the Yankees lead to two games in the AL East over the Baltimore Orioles, who were scheduled to play the Blue Jays tonight. It also gave the Yankees their 11th 90-win season in the last 12 years.
Sabathia allowed two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out 10. The only runs surrendered by the left-hander came on RBI singles from Matt Carson and Pedro Florimon in the second and seventh innings, respectively.
“This is what he can do,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He can string a bunch of good ones together. If there’s a time, now’s the time.”
Sabathia’s first win since Aug. 24 at Cleveland broke a three-game personal losing streak and helped the Yankees to their sixth consecutive season-series win against the Twins.
“I think just having my fastball command is really where it starts,” Sabathia said. “Me being able to spot it up makes a big difference. Being able to come in, go away with it — I got some strikeouts with them looking on fastballs — so being able to command that definitely helps.”
“That’s the best I’ve seen him, and I’ve been watching him for a long time,” said Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who struck out three times against Sabathia. “When I was up there, he was both sides of the plate — fastball, slider, sinker — he threw me everything, and everything was working.”
Eight New York hitters reached base in the six-run third inning sparked by a two-run double by Robinson Cano that scored Chris Dickerson and Ichiro Suzuki and an RBI single by Nick Swisher.
Curtis Granderson delivered a two-run triple and ran home after a wild pitch by Brian Duensing, who relieved starter Samuel Deduno after he suffered an eye irritation in the second inning.
“I think you have to take advantage of that situation,” Nick Swisher said, who tallied hits in his last nine games, hitting .353 (12-for-34) with four home runs during that span.
“That’s a tough spot for Duensing to come into. Anytime that you can get that starter out and get into that bullpen, that’s when you really start to eat a little bit,” he added.
Derek Jeter’s hit streak ended at 19 games after going 0-for-4 while Ichiro tallied two hits to extend his personal streak to 10 games.