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Yankees 3, Mariners 6: Big inning dooms Sabathia again

Another big inning doomed CC Sabathia as Robinson Cano made his return to Yankee Stadium.


Tonight, Robinson Cano returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since signing his big 10-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. Many wondered what the reaction would be like; would they boo or cheer? At first it seemed to be a mix of cheers and boos; as YES panned through the crowd, you could see people doing both. However, the boos got louder and just kept going. After each pitch, the boos would rise again, and turn to cheers when the call was a strike. Then there was a burst of glee from the crowd when CC Sabathia struck him out. When the Yankees came up to bat in the bottom of the first, the Bleacher Creatures started a roll call chant for Cano, but once he acknowledged them those cheers turned to chants of "You sold out" as they threw fake money onto the field. The boos and jeers continued throughout the night. Not a shining moment for the Yankees fanbase, to be sure.

The Yankees got the scoring started in the second inning with a solo home run to right field off the bat of Mark Teixeira. They scored again in the bottom of the third, thanks to a lucky break. Brian Roberts drew a walk and Brett Gardner singled to put two on before Carlos Beltran launched a sac fly that allowed Roberts to move to third. During the next at-bat, Gardner stole second and catcher Mike Zunino threw the ball into the outfield, allowing Roberts to score and the Yankees to take a 2–0 lead.

Unfortunately, CC gave it all up in a big top of the fifth. It all started when Zunino reached on a single after a replay overturned the initial out call. Then Willie Bloomquist hit a single down the first base line, just passed the reach of a diving Teixeira. Things then got bad when Abraham Almonte bunted and Brian Roberts didn't cover first in time. With the bases loaded and no one out, the Yankees looked like they were in major trouble. CC fought back by striking out Stefan Romero and getting Cano to ground out to first while conceding a run, but the success stopped there. Corey Hart hit a two-run double to take the lead and Justin Smoak singled to tack on another run and make it a 4–2 game.

Sabathia was finally knocked out of the game in the sixth, having given up four runs on nine hits, while striking out six in just five innings. The Mariners added a few more runs in the seventh against Dellin Betances when Cano reached on an infield single, stole second base, and then scored on a Dustin Ackley single right through the shift. Preston Claiborne came in and gave up another single through the shift and a second hit knocked in their sixth run of the night. Betances struck out four, but also surrendered two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings. Claiborne struck out a batter and allowed two hits in 1.1 innings, though the run he let score was charged to Betances. Chris Leroux pitched in the pouring rain and allowed two hits and got a strikeout in the ninth inning.

The Yankees lineup was relatively ineffective against the Mariners pitching staff. Chris Young pitched into the sixth inning and the offense was held to two hits against Charlie Furbush and Danny Farquhar over 2.1 innings. Fernando Rodney came in to end it in the ninth, but also to make it at least a little interesting. With one out he allowed a hit to Ichiro and a double to Roberts. Gardner hit an infield single to score their third run of the night, but they didn't get any closer than that.

In the end, Gardner had two hits and a stolen base, Derek Jeter had a hit, Teixeira hit a home run, Yangervis Solarte had a double and a walk, Ichiro had two hits and a walk, and Brian Roberts had a double and a walk. They had a few opportunities, but left nine runners on base and were only 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position with nine strikeouts. This is not a game to remember, so let the rain wash it out of your memory.