Tonight the big story for the Yankees – no pun intended – was the return of CC Sabathia to the rotation. In his first start since June 24 against the Mets, Sabathia lasted six innings, gave up only four hits, struck out six and only walked one batter. Oh, and he held the Blue Jays scoreless in those six innings. Not a bad day at the office for the big man.
Sabathia looked sharp all night and he was taken out following a single by Adam Lind in the top of the seventh inning. He threw 87 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Thanks to a big three-run home run by Andruw Jones off of Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil in the second inning, the Yankees had a lead they’d never relinquish. It was Jones’s 432nd career HR which breaks a tie with Cal Ripken, Jr. to take sole possession of 41st on all-time list. That early three-run lead extended the Yankees’ streak to 41 games of three or more runs.
As for Jones, he is on fire against left hander pitchers of late: In his last 16 at bats, he has six hits and four of them are home runs.
Some other streaks that are still intact after tonight’s game are Robinson Cano‘s hit streak which has reached 20 games. He’s the first Yankee since Derek Jeter in 2007 to reach that particular plateau. And there are only four Yankee left handed batters who have had longer streaks than Cano’s: Wally Pipp (21), Don Mattingly (24), Babe Ruth (26) and Earle Combs (29). Cano is now batting .405 with six doubles, six home runs and 20 RBI during the streak.
Chad Qualls and Clay Rapada made it interesting in the ninth inning by combining to load the bases with only one out so Joe Girardi had to call upon Rafael Soriano to clean up the mess. Luckily for the Yankees, Soriano made his fifth appearance in the last six games a quick one by inducing a line out-double play to Mark Teixeira to end the game. It was his 24th save of the season.
So the Yankees won another series, taking the first two games against the Jays and they’ve now won three series in a row after splitting a series against the White Sox two weeks ago and losing two out of three to the Rays in Tampa.