Sabathia Wins AL-High 17th, Yanks Avoid Sweep Against Orioles

Sabathia Wins AL-High 17th, Yanks Avoid Sweep Against Orioles NEW YORK — Hideki Matsui homered
and drove in five runs, CC Sabathia became the AL's first 17-game
winner and the New York Yankees avoided a three-game sweep against the
last-place Baltimore Orioles with a 13-3 victory Sunday.

Melky Cabrera finished with four RBIs
for New York, which totaled 20 hits after getting 19 in the first two
games of the series combined. Derek Jeter went 3-for-5 and scored three
times to give him 101 runs on the season, reaching the century mark for
the 12th time.

Matsui hit a tiebreaking, two-run
single off Jeremy Guthrie (10-14) in the sixth and a three-run homer in
New York's eight-run eighth.

Nolan Reimold had two hits for
Baltimore, denied its first three-game sweep in the Bronx since June
1986. Guthrie allowed five runs and 12 hits — equaling a career high —
in 5 2/3 innings.

AL East-leading New York improved to 41-15 since the All-Star break — tops in the majors — but much of the game wasn't pretty.

Johnny Damon, who returned to the
lineup after missing two games with a stiff back, committed an
embarrassing miscue that led to a Baltimore run. Mark Teixeira had
three at-bats with a runner on third and less than two outs, and failed
to drive him in each time.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and third
baseman Alex Rodriguez were ejected after Baltimore batted in the
fifth, apparently upset with plate umpire Marty Foster's strike zone.
It was Rodriguez's fifth career ejection and first since July 24, 2004.
It was Girardi's fourth of the season.

Clearly without his best stuff,
Sabathia (17-7) still managed to hold Baltimore to three runs and five
hits in seven innings. The big left-hander improved to 9-1 with a 2.75
ERA in his last 12 starts, despite finishing with just one strikeout
for the first time since June 21 at Florida.

New York put the game away with its
fifth inning of the season with eight or more runs. Matsui started the
outburst with a drive to right for his 24th homer. Cabrera and Teixeira
added two-run doubles.

Baltimore got off to a fast start
behind Justin Turner, inserted at third base after Melvin Mora was
scratched with a sore right elbow. Turner picked up his first career
RBI with a fielder's choice in the second and made a heady play on the
basepaths to take advantage of Damon's mental lapse in the fourth.

Turner was on second when Jeff
lofted a fly ball to left with one out. Damon appeared to be
fighting the sun as he caught the ball and, thinking the inning was
over, turned to the stands to throw it to a fan.

Turner tagged up and was rounding
third when Damon frantically threw the ball to shortstop Jeter, who
made a late relay to the plate as the rookie scored to give Baltimore a
3-1 lead.

New York tied it in the fourth when Cabrera looped an 0-2 pitch from Guthrie into center for a two-run single.

Girardi hinted before the
game he could adjust his rotation in the next couple of days. "We've
talked about if we could get some people some extra rest at times, we
might do that — some of our starters that we've had to work real hard,"
he said. RHP Joba Chamberlain will start Monday night against the Los
Angeles Angels. "We'll see after that," Girardi said. … Orioles
manager Dave Trembley said CF Felix Pie, who left Friday's 10-4 victory
over New York with back spasms, was feeling better and could take some
swings Monday. … Mora was hit on the elbow by Andy Pettitte's pitch
in the fifth inning Friday night. He was removed in the sixth for a
pinch hitter and didn't play in Saturday's 7-3 win.

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