Yanks & CC out to stop losing streaks

The Yankees looked to CC Sabathia in Friday night’s opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox to stem the tide of a five-game losing streak that included the demoralizing, four-game sweep by the Mets in the Subway Series.

It marked the seventh time in Sabathia’s career that he started a game with his team on a losing streak of five-or-more games. His clubs had gone 3-3 in those six previous starts with Sabathia going 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 43 1/3 innings. CC pitched shutouts in each of his past two such outings, both to end five-game losing streaks: May 8, 2009 for the Yankees at Baltimore and Sept. 6, 2004 for the Indians at Seattle.

Sabathia has a personal losing streak he would like to stop as well. The lefthander has lost his past two decisions and is winless in five starts since April 27 with a 4.85 ERA in 29 2/3 innings.

The Yankees’ lineup had some fortification with the return from the disabled list of Kevin Youkilis, who was the designated hitter and batting second in the order, and Mark Teixeira, who was at first base and batting cleanup. To create roster space, the Yankees optioned pitchers Ivan Nova and Vidal Nuno to Triple A Scranton where they can pitch as starters.

Nuno was saving space in the rotation for Andy Pettitte, who is expected to come off the DL early next week. Another roster move will need to be done to activate Pettitte. Now that the Yankees are back to 11 pitchers, the move will involve a position player. Manager Joe Girardi has indicated a preference to have two infielders capable of playing shortstop, which is the case with Jayson Nix and Reid Brignac. David Adams, who has played third base with the Yankees and has been a second baseman in the minors, has no experience at shortstop and is the likely player to be optioned. But as Girardi also pointed out, anything can happen in a matter of days.

Look at the Red Sox Friday night, for example. Jacoby Ellsbury, who had three hits and five stolen bases Thursday night in Boston’s 9-2 victory over the Phillies, was out of the lineup due to a groin injury.

The Yankees and the Blue Jays will make up the May 19 rainout at Yankee Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. The second game will start at 7:05 p.m.

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