CC Sabathia was the beneficiary of an early outburst from the New York bats and made it stand up through seven shutout innings as the Yankees evened this three-game series with a 9-2 victory over Carlos Carrasco and the Indians at Progressive Field.
With the victory, Sabathia improved to 12-4 on the season, and won his fifth straight start, and tenth in his last eleven times out.
The Yankees exploded for five runs in the second inning, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Derek Jeter, Jeter’s second hit of the night off of Carrasco, and by Curtis Granderson’s 24th homer of the year and second in two nights, putting the Yankees firmly in command at 5-0. Francisco Cervelli had plated the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice ground out, but by all rights, the bases-loaded grounder should have ended the inning with no runs scoring. Cord Phelps’ s throw to first skipped into Carlos Santana bread-basket, and instead of a double play, the ball popped out, the run scored, and Carrasco then had the mini-implosion with Jeter and Granderson.
The Yankees did not score in the third inning, but did add two hits in the frame, giving them eight hits with only nine outs achieved by Carrasco.
The Indians, meanwhile, did not get their first hit off of Sabathia until two were out in the third, when Lou Marson singled. Marson was stranded at first when Michael Brantley was retired for the final out of the inning.
Granderson hit his second homer of the night and 25th of the year to make it 6-0 in the fourth.
Carlos Santana and Orlando Cabrera singled with two outs in the fourth, but the Tribe’s chance to get closer fizzled when Grady Sizemore fanned for the second time in the game.
Carrasco (8-5, 3.95 ERA) was relieved by Frank Herrmann to start the fifth. Carrasco ended up allowing ten hits and six runs, walking three and also K’ing three.
Austin Kearns singled and Cord Phelps walked leading off the home half of the fifth, but Marson and Brantley both fanned. Then Lonnie Chisenhall — inserted into Asdrubal Cabrera’s spot in the batting order when Cabrera seemed to turn his ankle in the third after leaping and spinning in the air to start a force play at second — also struck out, giving Sabathia eight Ks on the night.
Josh Judy came on in the seventh after Herrmann once again did a nice job, with two scoreless innings. Judy tossed a scoreless frame.
In the Indians’ seventh, Sizemore doubled leading off, and with one out, Phelps walked, but Sabathia struck out Marson and Brantley to reach 11 strikeouts in the game.
Chad Durbin came on for the eighth and was touched by a run-scoring double from Robinson Cano and an RBI single from Nick Swisher to make it 8-0. Jorge Posada added a ninth run with a sacrifice fly before Durbin escaped from the inning.
Sabathia’s night ended after seven, and Lance Pendleton came on for New York. Sabathia lowered his ERA to 2.90, allowing five hits and fanning 11 to go with two walks. Pendleton worked a scoreless eighth but would get in trouble in the ninth.
Joe Smith came on for the Indians in the ninth and set down the side in order.
In the Tribe’s last at-bat, Sizemore collected his second hit of the night leading off, and Kearns followed with a walk. Phelps also walked, loading the bases
with nobody out.
The Indians finally got on the board when Marson hit a deep sacrifice fly, scoring Sizemore and moving Kearns to third. Brantley followed with a sac fly of his own, accounting for the final 9-2 margin as Chisenhall ended the game by striking out for the third time.
The rubber game of this set will be on Wednesday at 7:05, when the Indians send Justin Masterson against New York’s Phil Hughes.