CC still winless but making progress
CC Sabathia, coming back from knee surgery, has shown positive signs in his first two outings, but both have been losses. The second came Tuesday night at Baltimore as the Orioles held off a late challenge by the Yankees for a 4-3 victory.
Sabathia fell into a 3-0 hole after four innings. Adam Jones, as hot a player as there is in the major leagues these days, took CC deep in the first inning for his fourth home run and made the score 2-0 with a sacrifice fly two innings later. A wild pitch by Sabathia helped set up the third Baltimore run on a two-out single by Caleb Joseph, the Orioles catcher who got his first career triple leading off the seventh inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Everth Cabrera.
That made the score 4-1 and ended Sabathia’s night. He was ticked for four runs and seven hits but walked only one batter and struck out seven. Mobility remains a problem for the big guy with the tender knee. He made a throwing error trying to toss the ball from his glove to first base and also failed to cover the bag on another play that fortunately did not prove costly.
Manager Joe Girardi gave Sabathia a passing grade and is still optimistic that the lefthander can be a major positive force on the staff. CC just ran into a pitcher who was better Tuesday night.
Orioles righthander Miguel Gonzalez limited the Yankees to one run, four hits and one walk in seven innings and had a career-high strikeout total of 10. Gonzalez only hurt himself in the fifth inning with a wild pitch that put Jacoby Ellsbury into scoring position, and Mark Teixeira obliged with a two-out double.
The Yanks closed to 4-3 in the eighth against reliever Kevin Gausman with left fielder Alejandro De Aza making a huge error off a drive by Teixeira. Orioles manager Buck Showalter went to his closer, Zach Britton, for a four-out save after the De Aza error made it a one-run game with the potential tying run in scoring position. Britton did his job by getting four ground-ball outs to keep the Yankees from getting their record to .500.
The Yankees were without Brett Gardner, whose left wrist is still smarting after being hit by a pitch Monday night. Chris Young played left field and had a double in four at-bats. Girardi indicated that Gardner likely won’t start again until Friday at St. Petersburg, Fla.