The Yankees (22-17) struggled against Orioles (16-23) starter Brad Bergesen until the seventh when all the wheels fell off. CC Sabathia turned in his third straight excellent outing –winning each time- for his fourth victory on the season.
Brian Roberts scored the only run for the Orioles after he stole third and advanced home on a groundout. Sabathia went into lockdown mode after that. He retired 12 straight batters, gave up a hit and a walk, then retired the next eight. He could have easily pitched the eighth, but it wasn’t necessary.
The Yankees already had the lead after the first inning was over thanks to Alex Rodriguez. With Johnny Damon on base, A-Rod left the yard for the fourth straight game. Besides that mistake pitch to A-Rod, Bergesen shut down the Yankees through the sixth inning. Unfortunately for the O’s, their manager Dave Trembley opted to stick with Bergesen in the seventh.
He walked the first two batters forcing Trembley to make a move. He brought in Chris Ray –perhaps not giving him enough time to warm up- and he imploded. Melky Cabrera singled to load the bases, and then the Orioles shortstop botched what would have been an inning-ending double play. In lieu of the double play, Nick Swisher scored, Derek Jeter hit a bases-clearing double, Damon drove Jeter home with a single, and Mark Teixeira capped the rally with a two-run shot. Seven scored in the inning, and the Yankees led 9-1.
Brian Bruney -fresh off the DL- threw a 1-2-3 eighth, and Brett Tomko did the same in the ninth. For the Yankees, it was their seventh straight W, and the second loss in a row for the Orioles. Full box score here.
The Orioles showed a lot of guts staying with the Yanks for six and a half innings, but their bullpen cannot handle any sort of offensive threat. Sabathia has been sharp as of late, and his offense has scored enough for him to win.
- Damon was the only Yankee with two hits in the game. He now has seven hits in his last 16 at bats.
- Sabathia has been on a roll. Tonight: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB and 7 K.
Game 2 is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Jeremy Guthrie (3-3, 5.21) will oppose Phil Hughes (1-2, 7.56).