|N.Y. Yankees (72-43) «||0||2||3||1||0||0||3||2||0||11||15||0|
SEATTLE -- If Mr. August, CC Sabathia, keeps pitching like this -- and if a healthier Hideki Matsui keeps hitting like this -- A-Rod, Jorge Posada and the rest of the banged-up Yankees can afford to extend days off into mini vacations.
Derek Jeter homered before leaving early to rest, Matsui had his fourth career two-home run game and a season-high five RBI and Sabathia struck out a season-high 10 as New York began its longest road trip of the year with a breezy 11-1 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
The Yankees had a 5-0 lead one out into the third inning without Alex Rodriguez, who might also sit Friday with a bruised elbow, and without Posada, their bruised catcher who said he could have played.
They didn't need them. They rolled on, winning for the 10th time in 11 games to increase their lead in the AL East on the Red Sox to a season-high-tying 6½ games.
Their 10-game trip has three more in Seattle, three games in Oakland and three at Boston.
"When you have pitching like this, you really don't need too many runs," Jeter deadpanned after he hit his 14th home run of the season, then departed in the eighth inning to rest a bruised right foot.
Sabathia (13-7) mixed a 96 mph fastball with sinkers and dancing off-speed pitches that had the AL's lowest-scoring team flailing. He allowed three hits and a solo home run in eight innings. It was his fifth win in six decisions. He improved to 31-9 in August in his career.
"I've been pitching ahead in the count," Sabathia said. "And when I'm pitching ahead, I can pretty much put guys away."
And recently acquired Jerry Hairston Jr. again proved to be an invaluable fill-in with a double, single and two RBI subbing for Rodriguez at third base.
"When you can give a guy a day off and subs can contribute like that, it's huge," manager Joe Girardi said, adding it's "50-50" whether Rodriguez plays Friday.
Matsui celebrated his temporary return to the cleanup spot with his 18th and 19th home runs. Asked if he loves batting fourth, which he has done 15 times this season to Rodriguez's 82, Matsui said through an interpreter: "I don't hate it."
He had bulky ice packs on both knees. He said Girardi using him exclusively as a designated hitter to preserve him has helped his hitting.
The Mariners lost for the third time in seven games. They took their most lopsided defeat since an 11-0 pounding at Minnesota way back on May 8, yet stayed 5½ games behind Boston in the wild-card standings.
Ian Snell was left on the mound to absorb most of the beating. Seattle had used 11 relievers for 13 2/3 innings over the previous three days entering Thursday, including four relievers over the final seven innings of a 1-0, 14-inning victory against Chicago the previous night.
"Sometimes, somebody's got to wear it," Wakamatsu said, adding Snell will stay in his rotation.
Making his third AL start since Seattle acquired him from Pittsburgh on July 29, Snell (0-1) allowed nine hits and eight runs in six-plus innings. Five days earlier, Snell walked six Tampa Bay Rays while lasting only 1 1/3 innings in his home Seattle debut.
Snell was impressed with the Yankees -- A-Rod or no A-Rod.
"That lineup is just stupid. They shouldn't be allowed to have a lineup like that, but that is why their payroll is what it is," Snell marveled. "That is a lineup nobody in the National League has."
Matsui hit his second two-run homer in the eighth. This one barely eluded the reach of countryman Ichiro Suzuki. The eight-time Gold Glove outfielder leaped above the right-field wall, but a Mariners fan snagged the ball from Suzuki with his glove just before it reached the outfielder's.
When no one in his row high-fived him for turning an out into a Yankees' home run, the man threw the would-be souvenir back onto the field, adding insult to an already embarrassing night for Seattle.
|A fan catches one of Hideki Matsui's two homers and robs Ichiro of a potential great play. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||4||2||2||1||0||2||0||.319|
|a- Ramiro Pena, PH-SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.267|
|Johnny Damon, LF||4||2||2||0||0||0||1||.289|
|b- Eric Hinske, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||4||2||2||1||1||0||1||.288|
|Hideki Matsui, DH||5||4||4||5||0||0||1||.269|
|Nick Swisher, RF-LF||3||1||0||0||2||1||0||.242|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||0||2||0||0||1||5||.318|
|Melky Cabrera, CF||4||0||0||1||1||0||3||.272|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B||5||0||2||2||0||0||3||.262|
|Jose Molina, C||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.239|
|a-grounded out for Jeter in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Damon in the 8th|
|2B - Johnny Damon 2 (28, Snell, Snell), Mark Teixeira (32, Snell), Jerry Hairston Jr. (19, Snell)|
|HR - Derek Jeter (14, Snell), Hideki Matsui 2 (19, Snell, Olson)|
|RBI - Derek Jeter (49), Mark Teixeira (85), Hideki Matsui 5 (58), Melky Cabrera (46), Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (32)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira (34), Hideki Matsui 2 (22), Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 (6)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Jeter-Cano-Teixeira|
|New York Yankees|
|CC Sabathia (W,13-7)||8||3||1||1||2||10||1||3.64|
|Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 105-74, Brian Bruney 8-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 7-6, Brian Bruney 1-2|
|Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 28, Brian Bruney 3|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.358|
|Ryan Langerhans, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.225|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.293|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.274|
|Mike Sweeney, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.228|
|Russell Branyan, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.255|
|Kenji Johjima, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.242|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.220|
|Josh Wilson, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||3||.159|
|Michael Saunders, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.250|
|HR - Josh Wilson (1, Sabathia)|
|RBI - Josh Wilson (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Josh Wilson (1)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Ian Snell (L,2-9)||6||9||8||8||3||4||2||5.84|
|WP - Ian Snell (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 109-68, Garrett Olson 52-34|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 7-7, Garrett Olson 3-4|
|Batters Faced - Ian Snell 30, Garrett Olson 16|
|Attendance - 33585|
|Game Time - 2:42|
|Temperature - 62|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Mike Everitt|