NEW YORK (AP) — CC Sabathia pitched one-hit ball for eight innings to earn his major league-leading 19th win, fill-in Curtis Granderson homered twice and the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 Thursday for a four-game sweep.
Sabathia (19-5) breezed on a steamy afternoon, nicked only by Mark Ellis’ clean single leading off the second. Jonathan Albaladejo completed the combined one-hitter in the ninth.
Granderson hit a solo homer and a two-run shot as a replacement for Nick Swisher, who left after one inning because of a stiff left knee. Jorge Posada also homered a day after an animated ejection, propelling the Yankees to their sixth straight victory.
New York increased its AL East lead over idle Tampa to 1½ games. Oakland’s loss gave AL West-leading Texas a 10-game bulge.
Sabathia matched his career high for victories and won his sixth start in a row overall. He was in trouble just once, after a hit batter and a walk to start the eighth, but retired the next three hitters in order.
The big lefty struck out five, walked three and exchanged a fist bump with Eduardo Nunez after the rookie made a nice play to start the sixth. Ellis’ hit was an opposite-field stroke through the right side.
Sabathia began his day by fanning Coco Crisp, who took an awkward swing at 92 mph heat, which exactly matched the gametime temperature. The sunny weather figures to change in a hurry for Friday’s home game against Toronto, with Hurricane Earl expected to bring rain.
Winning in the Bronx has become almost automatic for Sabathia — he’s now 16-0 in 21 starts at Yankee Stadium since the 2009 All-Star break. Beating the A’s had been more of a problem — he began the day 6-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 20 career starts against them.
Dallas Braden (9-10) left in the sixth inning with heat-related cramps. He allowed two hits and slowly walked off trailing 1-0. He was coming off a four-hit shutout at Texas.
Braden started against the Yankees for the first time since his dustup with Alex Rodriguez on April 22 in Oakland. A-Rod angered Braden by crossing the mound while returning to first base after a foul ball, and the two later sniped at each other and the A’s sold T-shirts printed with “Get Off My Mound.”
Braden and Rodriguez have since patched up their differences. They didn’t face each other this time, with Rodriguez still on the disabled list.
Posada launched his 17th home run in the second. He trotted past third-base umpire Dana DeMuth without incident — a night earlier, Posada was ejected by DeMuth after arguing a called third strike, then drew a line in the dirt with his bat to show where the pitch was wide.
Braden bent over after a pitch in the sixth, and suddenly there were a lot of people on his mound, including A’s manager Bob Geren and a trainer. Jerry Blevins relieved and recorded an out before throwing a pitch, trapping Derek Jeter off first base.
Granderson followed with a home run, then hit a two-run shot for his 17th homer in the seventh. This was his sixth multihomer game.
A’s reliever Justin James made his big league debut in the eighth and gave up Austin Kearns’ RBI single.
NOTES: Sabathia won 19 with the Yankees last year and also did it in 2007 with Cleveland. … The Yankees posted their first four-game sweep over Oakland since 1985. New York went 9-1 against the A’s this year. … Braden picked off Robinson Cano at first base in the fourth. It was Braden’s seventh pickoff this season — only one runner has stolen a base against him in two years. … The Yankees have hit 21 home runs in nine games.