Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A day after New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that he was moving the struggling Phil Hughes to the bullpen in favor of David Huff, CC Sabathia, who know the Yankees would never move out of the rotation, needed to deliver a big game for the Bombers.

Facing the Chicago White Sox, a team that's already gotten the better of him once this season, Sabathia was as good as the Girardi and Company could have hoped for, firing 8 1/3 innings of three-run ball in the Yankees 6-5 win over the Sox, Wednesday night in the Bronx.

"I feel like I'm getting better," Sabathia said. "Like I've said, I'll keep building, keep working and try to help the team win."

Though the stats say that Sabathia was dominant throughout the night, his first inning is where most of the damage against him took place. After a couple of walks, he gave up an RBI double into the right field corner Avisail Garcia to put the White Sox on the board in a hurry.

Garcia came up big again for Chicago later in the game when he drove in another run in the 8th inning for his second RBI of the game, driving up both of the White Sox runs on the night.

Sabathia settled down after escaping danger in the 1st. From there, he didn't find himself into many more pickels up until the 8th inning when he entered having given up just three hits, he gave up a single to Gordon Beckham, then Alexei Ramirez beat out a double play ball, and after Paul Konerko singled, Girardi pulled the plug on his night.

CC gave the Yankees an outing that ended up finishes much better than the way it began, giving up just three runs on five hits over 8 1/3 innings, while walking four and striking out four on 111 pitches.

"I thought he was pretty good tonight," Girardi said. "I don't think too many pitches cut tonight. He gave us distance tonight. He did a very good job."

On the other side of the ball, Erik Johnson was making his major league debut against the Yankees, and Robinson Cano welcomed him to the big leagues by taking him deep in the 1st inning. A solo shot to right field by Cano tied the game at 1-1.

Following Cano's homerun, the Yankees were able to load the bases with two outs, but couldn't do anything with it after Ichiro struck out swinging to end the inning.

Johnson was able to settle down his nerves and hold the Yankees off the board for a few innings, but lose control once again in the 4th, giving up five runs in an inning where the Bombers gained control of the game.

A double by Lyle Overbay scored Alex Rodriguez to put the Yanks up 2-1. Then a couple batters later, Brett Gardner ripped his 9th triple of the season into the left-center field gap to clear the bases and bring home two more runs, extending the Yankees' lead to 4-1.

Cano drove in his second of run the game after he reached safely on an infield single that hit off the pitcher, giving the Yankees a 5-1 lead. Then Alfonso Soriano added an important tack-on run with a sac-fly to left field, scoring Derek Jeter from third.

"We didn't know much about [Johnson]," Cano said. "We just knew that he was pitching good in the Minors. We were able to score some runs early, we took advantage when he threw some balls over the plate."

After Sabathia was forced out of the game in the 8th, David Robertson enter, trying to record the final two outs of the inning. Pitching for just the second time in the last nine days, Robertson couldn't figure how to get the White Sox hitters out, giving up four runs (two charged to CC) on three hits and a walk, before Girardi brought in Rivera to attempt the four-out save.

Rivera struck out Alejandro De Aza looking to end the 8th, then he came back out for the 9th and fired a 1-2-3 scoreless inning to end the game and give the Yanks their 6-5 victory. Mariano picked up his first four-out save since July 24th, 2011.

"In some situations, I have to do that," said Rivera. "Tonight was one of them. It doesn't matter, as long as we get it done. You get a win tonight, and we had the lead and we just had to hold it."

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