Friday night against the Red Sox, Sabathia delivered and ace like performance, allowing only one runs on six hits, while walking none and tying a season with 10 strikeouts on 109 pitches, in the Yankees 4-1 win over their arch rivals.
"I always feel like it's my responsibility when I'm out there to give this team a chance to win -- go out and pitch well enough to try to win," Sabathia said. "With us having a tough week, getting swept by the Mets, you want to go out and have a good game. I was lucky enough to do that tonight."
With Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back in the lineup, the Yankee were able to score a couple runs early that would give Sabathia all the run support he would need.
"CC was really good. When you have two aces out there, you just want to give them a few runs," said Mark Teixeira. "Once we got that lead, you could just tell he wasn't going to give it up. He was upset at himself for giving up one run. That's how good he was tonight. He was pretty dominant."
Teixeira walked to start the home half of the 2nd inning followed by a Vernon Wells double, setting up a run scoring single for Jayson Nix. A couple batters later Ichiro softly dropped a ball into left field that would allow Nix to score.
Later in the game, Youkilis singled into left field to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Brett Gardner added an insurance run in the 7th inning on a slicing liner into left-center, driving home Ichiro from 2nd.
All four Yankee runs were surrendered by Red Sox starter, Jon Lester. Lester gave up four runs on six hits, while walking four and striking out five. Lester wasn't at his best against the Yankees as he took his 2nd loss of the season.
"Jon wasn't commanding the ball as much as he probably would have liked tonight, so our hitters really kind of played into that and made him throw more pitches and made him work," Youkilis said. "I think if you have a team that really focuses on that stuff, I think that's really a good thing, and I think this team does a good job of that."
Boston was able to tag Sabathia for a run in the 7th, coming on a Mike Napoli double. Sabathia stayed in the game to pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr in the 8th, then handed the ball over the David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.
Robertson did his job, retiring Jose Iglesias and Daniel Nava on 12 pitches. It would be up to Mariano Rivera to get the job done. Making his first appearance since blowing a save against the Mets on Tuesday.
Rivera capped off the Yankees win, after allowing a couple hits, but then fielded a come backer from Stephen Drew to end the game and the Bombers five game losing streak.
Youkilis finished the game going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of strikeouts. Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run in his first game of the 2013 season.
The Yankees win brings them back to trailing Boston by only one game in the AL East. Game two of this three-game set will feature Phil Hughes (2-3, .97 ERA) facing off with Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA). That game can be seen nationally on FOX at 7:10 ET.
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