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(Sports Network) - CC Sabathia faces the team he broke into the majors with when he goes for a fifth straight win tonight, as the New York Yankees continue a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Sabathia spent the first eight-plus seasons of his career with the Indians, who made him a first-round pick in 1998. After he won an American League Cy Young Award for them in 2007, the Indians dealt him to Milwaukee near the 2008 trade deadline, before he signed a monster free agent deal with the Yankees that offseason.
The big lefty won for the fourth straight time and for the eighth time in nine starts against the Brewers on Thursday, as he scattered six hits and matched a career-high with 13 strikeouts over 7 2/3 scoreless innings to improve to 11-4, while lowering his earned run average to 3.05.
"Just a great performance by CC," manager Joe Girardi said afterward. "He was in control the whole day. The only thing that got him was his pitch count at the end."
Sabathia, who was one of the more notable AL players not selected for the All- Star team, has faced his former team four times and is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA. . Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with its new ace Carlos Carrasco, who is 8-4 with a 3.54 ERA. Carrasco defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, holding them to two runs and four hits in seven innings.
Carrasco twirled seven scoreless innings to beat the Yankees back on June 13 in his only other start against them.
In Monday's opener, Austin Kearns and Carlos Santana both homered and Josh Tomlin took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, as Cleveland rallied for a 6-3 win.
The story for the Yankees, though, was Derek Jeter's return to the lineup after his pursuit for 3,000 hits was put on hold June 14 due to a strained right calf. Following two rehab games with Double-A Trenton over the weekend, Jeter was activated on Monday, but is still stuck on 2,994 hits after going 0- for-4.
Tomlin (10-4) gave up two runs on three hits over seven innings for the Indians, who have won four of five. He set a modern Major League record by pitching at least five innings for the 29th consecutive start, the longest streak to begin a career.
"He was able to hold down that amazing lineup that they have over there for six innings hitless, and then just gave up two runs," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer for New York, which has lost two in a row since a seven-game winning streak. Nick Swisher drove in two runs.
A.J. Burnett (8-7) allowed four runs on four hits over seven innings to suffer the loss. He struck out six and walked four.
The Yankees took three of four from the Indians earlier in the year and own a 13-5 record in the past 18 meetings.