July 18, 2009

Sabathia outduels Verlander, Yankees win

Alex Rodriguez’s seventh inning solo homer off Justin Verlander broke a scoreless tie, and the Yankees (53-37) — behind CC Sabathia’s gritty performance — went on to beat the Tigers (48-41) 2-1.

Quick ‘Cap:
Sabathia ran into trouble in almost every inning he pitched, but managed to escape each situation unscathed. Two 6-4-3 double plays in the third and fourth innings were key defensive plays in Sabathia’s seven shutout innings. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out four, lowering his season ERA to 3.66.

Only two Yankees had hits off Verlander through six innings — Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon. However, A-Rod changed that, and the score in the seventh with one swing. Then with two outs in the inning, Robinson Cano singled, Nick Swisher doubled and Melky Cabrera beat out a grounder to score the Yankees a much needed insurance run.

Alfredo Aceves came on in the eighth after 114 pitches from Sabathia, and surrendered a solo shot to Marcus Thames, which accounted for the only Tigers’ run. Mariano Rivera did his thing in the ninth — with a little help from Jeter — to secure his 25th save of the season. Full box score here.

For once, two aces lived up to expectations and provided an amazing pitchers’ duel on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. One would never guess Sabathia to come out on top, as he was the one getting into trouble, while Verlander was mowing down the Yankees all day.

Mark Teixeira: 0-for-3, BB, 3 K. After a three-hit day yesterday, nobody expected to see Teixeira struggle like that.

Up Next:
The Yankees will go for a sweep on Sunday afternoon with Joba Chamberlain (4-2, 4.25) on the hill against Edwin Jackson (7-4, 2.52).

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