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New York at Kansas City

W: C. Sabathia (1-1) L: H. Ramirez (0-1)
HR: NYY - N. Swisher (2)   KC - None

Sabathia throws 7 2/3 solid innings, earns first win as Yankee

CBSSports.com wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- CC Sabathia made one tiny adjustment and returned to the form that landed him a $161 million deal with the New York Yankees.

Making an effort to get his right foot down quicker, Sabathia pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning to lead New York to a 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

The 6-feet-7 left-hander yielded just six singles in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none.

It was a much different outing than opening day in Baltimore when he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his first start for the Yankees after signing a seven-year contract. Against the Orioles, he allowed six runs and eight hits, walked five and threw two wild pitches in a 10-5 loss.

"Fastball command, getting ahead of guys. It felt a lot better than the first game," he said.

Sabathia (1-1) did not have a strikeout in his Yankees debut for the first time in almost four years. But he fanned Coco Crisp in the first inning Saturday.

"I don't know much about pitching," said Nick Swisher, who drove in three of New York's runs. "But I know when he punches out the first batter of the game with a 96-mph fastball, I think he's probably feeling it."

The Royals got only two runners to third base against Sabathia, who led the majors last year with 10 complete games and five shutouts.

"He had good stuff," said Billy Butler, who struck out three times. "I swung at a couple I shouldn't have. I took a couple that I shouldn't have."

The Royals avoided the shutout with a walk, a double and Miguel Olivo's RBI grounder off Jose Veras in the ninth.

Sabathia said he tried out the adjustment in a bullpen session.

"It just lets you stay on top of the ball, throwing the ball downhill and throwing the ball at the bottom of the strike zone," he said. "Just getting my foot down quicker and staying tall and staying on top of the ball."

Kansas City, which led the majors with 56 spring training home runs, has scored only eight runs in its first five games.

"We need to have more quality at-bats earlier," manager Trey Hillman said. "The more pitches you see, the better pitches you get to hit. We're antsy at the plate, swinging outside the strike zone."

Jorge Posada had three RBI and Swisher, hitting third, had a run-scoring triple and a two-run homer to raise his RBI total in the last three games to nine.

"Get to hit in the three-hole for the New York Yankees! I was real excited about that," said Swisher, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Chicago White Sox. "This just feels great. I'm coming to the ballpark every day with the mindset I want to do whatever I can to help the team."

Posada drove in two runs in the first inning for the second straight game and added an RBI single in the third off Horacio Ramirez (0-1).

Ramirez went 4 1/3 innings and was ineffective from the first inning on in his first 2009 start. He gave up six runs and eight hits, walked two and struck out two.

"I fell behind way too much," he said.

Johnny Damon was supposed to have the night off for the Yankees but was pressed into duty when Mark Teixeira was a last-minute scratch with a sore wrist. Damon singled in the first, Swisher walked and Posada made it 2-0 with a two-run double that got Willie Bloomquist twisted around in right field.

Swisher's triple drove in Derek Jeter in the third, then Posada's single put the Yankees on top 4-0.

Swisher's homer off Ramirez added two more in the fifth before Robinson Tejeda came out of the bullpen and pitched shutout ball for 2 2/3 innings, striking out six in an impressive first appearance of 2009.

Manager Joe Girardi said he expected Teixeira to play on Sunday.

Royals third baseman Alex Gordon left after the fifth inning with tightness in his right hip and was listed day to day.


  • The Yankees' first inning Saturday was just like the day before, with the leadoff batter making an out, followed by a single, a walk, another out and then a two-run hit by Posada.
  • The Royals grounded into their first double play of the season in the second.
  • The Yankees were the last team in the majors to make an error.
  • After walking Swisher, Tejeda struck out the side in the seventh.
  • The Royals' bullpen has 13 strikeouts in the past two games.
  • Sabathia is 15-10 lifetime against Kansas City.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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CC Sabathia rebounds from his opening day struggles, allowing no runs in 7 2/3 innings.  (AP)
CC Sabathia rebounds from his opening day struggles, allowing no runs in 7 2/3 innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

N. Swisher
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1
New York

C. Sabathia
IP 7.2
H 6
ER 0
BB 0
K 6

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New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4110111 .273
    Ramiro Pena, SS00000001.000
Johnny Damon, LF4210103 .263
Nick Swisher, 1B3323200 .538
Hideki Matsui, DH4010114 .111
Jorge Posada, C5023023 .313
Robinson Cano, 2B4000014 .444
Xavier Nady, RF4020010 .294
    Melky Cabrera, RF0000000 .000
Cody Ransom, 3B4000022 .056
Brett Gardner, CF3000112 .235
2B - Hideki Matsui (1, Ramirez), Jorge Posada 2 (3, Ramirez, Ramirez)
3B - Nick Swisher (1, Ramirez)
HR - Nick Swisher (2, Ramirez)
RBI - Nick Swisher 3 (9), Jorge Posada 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Jorge Posada 3 (5)
SB - Derek Jeter (2, 2nd base off Ramirez/Olivo)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Ransom-Cano-Swisher, Cano-Jeter-Swisher
E - Cody Ransom (1, Throwing)
New York Yankees
CC Sabathia (W,1-1) 7.2600060 4.50
Jose Veras 1.1111110 2.70
HBP - Gordon (by CC Sabathia), DeJesus (by CC Sabathia)
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 108-73, Jose Veras 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 9-7, Jose Veras 2-1
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 30, Jose Veras 6
Kansas City Royals
Coco Crisp, CF4000024 .211
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4010000 .333
David DeJesus, LF3010010 .190
Billy Butler, DH4000033 .059
Alex Gordon, 3B1000001 .133
    Mark Teahen, 3B1110100 .294
Mike Aviles, SS3010003 .235
    Brayan Pena, C1000001 .000
Mike Jacobs, 1B4020001 .214
Miguel Olivo, C3010011 .214
    Tony Pena Jr., SS1001000 .000
Willie Bloomquist, RF4000003 .167
2B - Mike Jacobs (2, Veras)
RBI - Tony Pena Jr. (1)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Callaspo-Aviles-Jacobs
Kansas City Royals
Horacio Ramirez (L,0-1) 4.1866221 12.46
Robinson Tejeda 2.2000360 0.00
Doug Waechter 2100110 0.00
WP - Robinson Tejeda (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 71-36, Robinson Tejeda 52-27, Doug Waechter 35-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 7-3, Robinson Tejeda 1-1, Doug Waechter 1-4
Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 22, Robinson Tejeda 11, Doug Waechter 8
Game Information
Attendance - 31271
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Rob Drake