CC Sabathia gets his milestone win in Yankees blowout
On a day the Yankees were looking to take their biggest lead of the season in the division, CC Sabathia delivered his best outing in over a month and added to his Hall of Fame résumé.
The left-hander easily outdueled Blake Snell, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, in a 12-1 win over Tampa Bay, as the Yankees recorded their fifth straight victory and extended their AL East lead over the Rays to 3½ games.
In the process, Sabathia — who became the 17th pitcher in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts earlier in the season — picked up the 250th win of his career.
After dropping his previous three starts, Sabathia gave up just one run on three hits in six innings and made the most of the early lead the Yankees provided for him.
The Yankees got to Snell in a hurry, with DJ LeMahieu leading off with an infield single and Luke Voit following with a walk before Gary Sanchez drilled an opposite-field three-run shot to right for a 3-0 lead.
Snell walked Edwin Encarnacion, and after Aaron Hicks grounded into a forceout, he walked Gleyber Torres and Cameron Maybin to load the bases — ending his day after retiring just one batter.
Left-hander Colin Poche entered and hit Gio Urshela on a 2-2 pitch to force in another run to make it 4-0.
Brett Gardner popped out, but LeMahieu delivered a two-run single to center to give the Yankees a 6-0 lead.
Sabathia gave up consecutive walks to Ji-Man Choi and Daniel Robertson with one out in the fifth and then got Travis d’Arnaud to pop to first. After nearly getting Tommy Pham looking at an 0-2 fastball, Pham eventually dunked a double to right, which knocked in Choi and sent Robertson to third.
But Sabathia recovered and got Austin Meadows to fly to left.
It snapped a string of shaky performances by Sabathia, who had a 6.97 ERA in 20 ²/₃ innings in his previous four starts while struggling with his cutter.
He pitched around a one-out double by Pham in the first and didn’t allow more than one base runner in an inning until the fifth, when the Rays finally got to Sabathia on Pham’s RBI double.
The Yankee offense didn’t get another hit after LeMahieu’s two-run single in the first until Sanchez ripped a run-scoring double to left with one out in the seventh and they batted around again.
Torres capped off the day with a grand slam later in the inning, as the Yankees went up 12-1 with their second six-run inning of the afternoon.
Things got ugly enough that Tampa Bay resorted to moving Robertson from third base to pitcher in the eighth.
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