CC Sabathia tossed eight innings of two-run (0 ER) baseball while striking out ten Rays on the way to his fifth straight victory on Thursday night in the Bronx. There isn't much else to say about the Yankees' ace. He worked around a few errors by Eduardo Nunez that led to the unearned runs, but otherwise, he was outstanding.
This was the type of outing the Yankees needed, as David Phelps did not provide the Yankees with much length yesterday. Sabathia was well aware of this, and threw 119 pitches, 81 for strikes (68%) over his eight innings of work while giving the bullpen a needed breather.
The Rays had nine baserunners on the night, seven coming via hits while the other two came by a walk and a hit by pitch. Despite their chances, Sabathia buckled down with runners in scoring position, forcing the Rays to go just 2-for-11 in those situations.
Robinson Cano paved the way for the offense, as he went 3-for-4, including what turned out to be the game winning homer in the bottom of the fifth, a two-run shot that sailed over the Yankees bullpen. Curtis Granderson also homered, while Chris Stewart pitched in with an RBI single and Andruw Jones tacked on an RBI double.
Despite his rough night in the field, Nunez had a nice game at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk. Alex Rodriguez also pitched in with two hits.
Rafael Soriano allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth after Elliot Johnson singled to lead off the inning, stole second base, and then advanced through two ground outs. Otherwise, Soriano was fine, and provided a painless ninth inning as the Yankees completed a series victory against the Rays.
Comment of the Game: Jedi Master A-Rod's post of NoMaas's fine work on Raul Ibanez