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Boston at New York

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Boston (91-63)000000000021
N.Y. Yankees (99-56) «00000102x370

CC first to 19 wins as Yanks inch closer to AL East title

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Put the bubbly on ice for the first clinching celebration at the new Yankee Stadium. With another dominant performance by CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees' magic number for winning the AL East is down to one.

"We've got a lot of work left to do," Sabathia said after smothering the Boston Red Sox by allowing just one hit over seven innings in a 3-0 victory Saturday. Then the big man quickly added: "It feels good right now."

Sabathia (19-7) combined on a two-hitter with Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera to become the major leagues' first 19-game winner, Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking, opposite-field homer in the sixth against Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-6) that bounced off the top of the left-field fence and Johnny Damon slapped a soft, two-run single in the eighth off Billy Wagner.

Already assured of no worse than the wild card, the Yankees (99-56) have won eight of nine against their rival after starting the season 0-8 against Boston (91-63). They can wrap up their first division title since 2006 on Sunday when they play the Red Sox for the final time this season.

"We need one win basically in the next seven games," manager Joe Girardi said. "You'd like to clinch as soon as possible so you could maybe give the guys a couple days and make sure that you keep them well-rested and strong."

Boston's magic number for a playoff berth stayed stuck at three.

"I don't think it matters," Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "Both of us are probably going to the playoffs unless we don't do something right."

Sabathia pitched 5 2/3 hitless innings against Red Sox on Aug. 8 before Jacoby Ellsbury singled and threw shutout ball over 7 2/3 innings that day. This time he retired his first 11 batters before walking Victor Martinez in the fourth, and he allowed his only hit when Mike Lowell singled up the middle past second baseman Cano leading off the fifth.

Sabathia struck out eight and walked two, lowering his ERA to 3.21. He is 9-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last 11 starts and has matched his career high for wins, set with Cleveland two years ago. He'll get a chance to reach 20 at Tampa Bay on Friday night.

"He's been everything that we have asked for and more," Girardi said. "He is an ace."

Sabathia was pitching on six days' rest after going on five in each of his previous two starts. Last year with Milwaukee, he had just three days' rest for his last four appearances.

"It definitely feels good to have a lead and be able to get the extra days off," he said. "Last year, I think it took a toll on me mentally more than it did physically."

No shocker here: Girardi said Sabathia will start the Yankees' postseason opener.

"I think the extra rest has really helped him," the manager said. "We want to make sure he's really strong going into October."

In his third start following nearly two months on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, Matsuzaka pitched to Martinez for the first time and allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, walked five and hit a batter.

"I don't think my pitching was entirely bad," he said through a translator. "It was a step in the right direction."

Through five innings, the Yankees were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners, including six on second or third. Cano homered leading off the bottom of the sixth, giving him 100 runs and 199 hits this season.

Now for Sunday, and perhaps the first clincher at the new field.

"We haven't gotten there yet," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said.

Notes

  • Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Yankees fan from the Bronx, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg signaled a foul tip off the bat of David Ortiz on an 0-1 pitch in the fifth, even though replays showed the ball missed the bat by inches. Fox aired audio of the ensuing discussion between the two.
  • The crowd of 48,809 was the seventh sellout at new Yankee Stadium: opening day and the last six games against Boston.
  • Four batters were hit -- including Youkilis twice -- but no warnings were issued.
  • Wagner, the Mets former closer, entered to boos in his first game in New York since Boston acquired him last month. The runs off him were unearned because SS Chris Woodward dropped the ball for an error during a rundown after pinch-runner Brett Gardner got caught off third on a ball in the dirt.
  • Rivera got 43rd save in 45 chances, striking out Lowell with two on to end the game.
  • Martinez extended his hitting streak to 25 games.
 
Copyright 2014 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 allows 1 hit in seven innings to best Dice-K and lower the Yanks' magic number to one.  (AP)
CC Sabathia allows 1 hit in seven innings to best Dice-K and lower the Yanks' magic number to one. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Sabathia
IP 7.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 2
K 8
New York

J. Damon
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4000021 .300
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4000021 .297
Victor Martinez, C3010100 .301
Kevin Youkilis, 1B2000011 .303
Mike Lowell, 3B4010022 .290
David Ortiz, DH3000012 .236
Rocco Baldelli, RF2000010 .259
   a- J.D. Drew, PH-RF1000000 .269
Jed Lowrie, SS2000011 .153
   b- Casey Kotchman, PH1000010 .272
    Chris Woodward, SS0000000 .221
Brian Anderson, LF1000100 .235
   c- Josh Reddick, PH-LF1000010 .196
Totals28020212  
a-grounded out for Baldelli in the 8th
b-struck out for Lowrie in the 8th
c-struck out for Anderson in the 8th
Batting
SB - Mike Lowell (2, 2nd base off Sabathia/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Martinez
E - Chris Woodward (5, Missed catch of throw(Play actually went 2-5-2-6EC))
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,3-6) 7611531 6.08
Billy Wagner 0.2120220 2.08
Daniel Bard 0.1000000 3.69
HBP - Jeter (by Daisuke Matsuzaka), Cabrera (by Billy Wagner)
WP - Billy Wagner (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 115-65, Billy Wagner 35-17, Daniel Bard 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 9-8, Daniel Bard 1-0
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 32, Billy Wagner 6, Daniel Bard 1
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS3020113 .332
Johnny Damon, LF4012103 .284
Mark Teixeira, 1B4010113 .293
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000016 .286
Hideki Matsui, DH4010013 .280
Nick Swisher, RF2010203 .249
    Brett Gardner, PR-CF0100000 .279
Robinson Cano, 2B3111113 .321
Melky Cabrera, CF-RF3100002 .270
Jose Molina, C3000104 .216
Totals3037375  
Batting
HR - Robinson Cano (24, Matsuzaka)
RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (79), Robinson Cano (80)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon 2 (33)
SB - Johnny Damon (12, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Martinez), Brett Gardner (24, 3rd base off Wagner/Martinez)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Teixeira
New York Yankees
CC Sabathia (W,19-7) 7100280 3.21
Phil Hughes (H,18) 1000020 2.99
Mariano Rivera (S,43) 1100020 1.85
HBP - Youkilis (by CC Sabathia), Youkilis (by Mariano Rivera)
WP - Mariano Rivera (1)
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 96-57, Phil Hughes 13-8, Mariano Rivera 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 6-6, Phil Hughes 1-0, Mariano Rivera 1-0
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 24, Phil Hughes 3, Mariano Rivera 5
Game Information
Attendance - 48809
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke