Rays’ Shields Turns Tables On Sabathia, Yankees
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFAN/AP) — CC Sabathia threw a complete game. It wasn’t enough to keep his personal winning streak going.
Tampa Bay Rays All-Star James Shields won for the first time in nearly a month, outpitching Sabathia and beating the New York Yankees 2-1 on Thursday night.
“You’ve got two guys that are throwing the ball extremely well,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Both have been pretty much on a roll and just continued it.”
Sabathia (14-5) lost for the first time since June 9, ending a streak of victories in seven consecutive starts. Slumping Evan Longoria homered and finished with two of the five hits off the Yankees ace. Sam Fuld drove in Tampa Bay’s second run with a fifth-inning triple.
“CC has been pitching like that for a long, long time,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. “Yeah, you’d like to see him get a win. He pitched well enough to win. We just couldn’t get anything going off Shields.”
Shields (9-8) allowed six hits, walked three and struck out six over 7 2-3 innings in his second duel with Sabathia in 12 days. The right-hander lost 1-0 to the major leagues’ wins leader on July 10 at Yankee Stadium, yielding the game’s only run on an errant pickoff throw to third base.
“Last time it was a pitcher’s duel,” Jeter said. “He’s tough. He mixes it up. His changeup is as good as anyone in our league. He really keeps you off balance.”
Shields ended a personal four-game skid, winning for the first time since a 5-1 complete-game victory at Houston on June 24. The right-hander allowed one runner past first until the eighth, when Jeter doubled for career hit No. 3,010 and scored on Robinson Cano’s double into the right field corner.
Brandon Gomes replaced Shields and got Nick Swisher to hit a first-pitch flyball to center to end the eighth. Kyle Farnsworth worked the ninth for Tampa Bay, earning his 19th save in 22 opportunities.
Longoria began the night just 4 for 31 in his previous eight games. He hit his 12th homer with two outs in the first, added an infield hit in the fourth and finished 2 for 2 with two walks — one intentional.
Sabathia walked four and struck out eight en route to his third complete game of the season.
“It’s one of those of things,” Sabathia said. “It’s baseball.”
Fuld’s triple was just the fourth extra-base hit allowed to a left-handed hitter by Sabathia this season.
“It’s frustrating, especially the fifth inning and I let Sam Fuld beat me, a lefty,” Sabathia said.
Girardi tweaked his batting order for the game, moving Brett Gardner from ninth to leadoff and dropping Jeter from first to second. The change was made in part because regular No. 2 hitter Curtis Granderson was not in the starting lineup after fouling a ball off his right calf and being hit in the back with a pitch on Wednesday night.
Jeter’s double lifted him into a tie with Hall of Famer Wade Boggs for 25th on the career hits list. Granderson entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and played the last three innings in center field.
Before Longoria went deep, New York pitchers had gone eight consecutive games without allowing a home run — the longest such streak for the Yankees since another eight-game homerless stretch in 1999. Sabathia hadn’t yielded one since June 19, at home against the Chicago White Sox, a span of five starts.
NOTES: Girardi said 3B Alex Rodriguez, who had right knee surgery on July 11, had the stitches removed and continues working out in a pool. … New York RHP Rafael Soriano pitched one inning in his second appearance with Class-A Tampa, allowing one run and two hits and INF Eric Chavez (broken left foot) played defense for the first time in the same game. Both could rejoin the team next week. … Yankees INF Ramiro Pena was released from a hospital Wednesday, two days after having an appendectomy. … The teams are averaging a combined 6.2 runs per game through nine games this season.
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