Mo’s blown save costs CC a needed victory

It was not classic CC Sabathia Wednesday night, not Cy Young Award winning Sabathia. But it was not chronic CC Sabathia, the what’s-going-on pitcher we have watched over the past month, either. Yet if ever there was a time to see Sabathia approach the pitcher Yankees fans have come to know and love, it was at the end of this disappointing trip.

After four consecutive starts in which he allowed more than five runs (seven or more in three of them), Sabathia limited the damage to three runs in 7 1/3 innings. The Yankees gave him a quick lead of 2-0 in the first inning on a two-run home run by Alfonso Soriano and pushed it to 4-0 in the fourth on Eduardo Nunez’s first home run of the season.

CC has had a nasty habit of giving up leads this year, and while the White Sox came close when Sabathia departed the game the Yankees’ advantage was still intact albeit down to one run. It was Mariano Rivera of all people who would give up the lead in the ninth for only his third blown save in 38 opportunities this year.

That cost Sabathia the chance to even his record at 10-10. He gave up his 25th home run of the season, a solo shot in the fifth inning to Gordon Beckham, who had a strong series. CC seemed to tire in the seventh although his pitch count was manageable (86 for the game). He allowed three straight hits at the start of the seventh that made the score 4-3.

The Yankees could have supplied more support offensively but had another poor night hitting with runners in scoring position. They were 1-for-13 in the clutch during regulation as they stranded 10 base runners, eight in scoring position.

Beckham, who was 6-for-12 (.500) with two doubles, one home run and two RBI in the series, was behind Chicago’s comeback. After Rivera got the first two outs on harmless fly balls, Beckham lined a double to right-center. Mo got two quick strikes past pinch hitter Adam Dunn before the slugger punched a single past a diving Alex Rodriguez at third base and into left field for a single that scored Beckham with the tying run.

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