Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4: Offense rebounds as Yankees take series in Toronto

Tom Szczerbowski

CC was better, the offense was better, the Yankees won.

CC Sabathia got his second start of the year and it went much better than the first. Sabathia didn't get off to the best start and his last inning was a little iffy, but in the middle bit, he looked really good. And thankfully for him, the Yankee lineup decided to show up today. The offense got three first inning runs and never trailed as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 6-4.

After failing to score yesterday, it didn't take the Yankees long to get on the board today. Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk. He stole second on the first pitch of Derek Jeter's at bat and moved to third when Jeter grounded out. Jacoby Ellsbury came up next and he grounded out too, but it was enough to score Gardner to make it 1-0. Brian McCann then kept the inning alive with a walk. Alfonso Soriano came up next and got his first hit of the season. Sort of. Soriano got hit in the back with a pitch to put two on with two out. Kelly Johnson then ripped a double to center. That scored both McCann and Soriano. Brian Roberts couldn't keep it going and struck out to end the inning, but the Yankees led 3-0.

Sabathia took the mound in the bottom of the second, but it didn't take long for him to give back some of that lead. For the second time in three games, Melky Cabrera led off with a home run. Another batter did reach on an infield hit, but CC got through the inning with a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the fourth, the Yankees added to their lead. Brian Roberts worked a lead-off walk and stole second during Ichiro Suzuki's at bat. After Ichiro struck out, Yangervis Solarte hit a ground-rule double. That scored Roberts and made it 4-1. Gardner came up next and he would hit the Yankees' first home run of the year, making it 6-1.

Other than the lead-off home run by Cabrera, the Blue Jays could not get anything going offensively until the sixth inning. After the first two hitters went down, Jose Bautista kept the inning alive with a single. Edwin Encarnacion followed that with a single. Dioner Navarro then doubled to score Bautista. That was followed by an Erik Kratz double that scored Encarnacion and Navarro. Sabathia then got Brett Lawrie to fly out to end the inning, but the score was now 6-4.

In the seventh, the Yankees had a chance to re-increase their lead, but they stranded two runners, keeping the score at 6-4. Sabathia would not come back out for the bottom of the seventh. CC finished with six innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits (no walks) while striking out six.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless seventh in relief of Sabathia. After that, Shawn Kelley came in to pitch the eighth inning. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-out triple that just eluded Ellsbury's glove in center. With the tying run at the plate, Kelley got Navarro to ground out to end the eighth.

After the Yankees went down in order in the top of the ninth (with McCann missing a home run by a few feet), David Robertson came in to pitch the ninth. After getting the first out, Robertson got himself in a bit of trouble. He allowed a single to Lawrie before walking pinch-hitter Adam Lind, bringing the winning run to the plate. Roberton got Colby Rasmus to pop out, leaving to game up to Cabrera. Melky got decent contact on a pitch, but Ichiro read it off the bat and caught it for the third out. Robertson got his second save of the year and the Yankees got a 6-4 win.

The Yankees will now head back to New York for their home opener tomorrow against the Orioles. Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound and first pitch will be at 1:05 eastern.

Box score.

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