Jeter, Sabathia star as Yankees win again
New York beats Atlanta Braves, 6-2
And the Yankees also saw their own ace, CC Sabathia, fall behind the Braves on a pair of early runs, looking at first as though he might keep failing to meet the impressive level the rest of the rotation has displayed this month.
But the way the Yankees have been playing lately, manager Joe Girardi couldn't help but feel his team would do what it's continued to do during its hot streak.
"You figure that we're gonna find a way," Girardi said after the Yankees did just that in a 6-2 win Monday night, New York's 10th consecutive victory.
Derek Jeter had a pair of big two-out singles, and Sabathia finally got in step with his fellow starters with a complete-game performance as the Yankees continued their domination of the NL East.
Mark Teixeira added his 12th homer of the season and Robinson Cano hit his 13th for the Yankees, who moved a season-high 16 games over .500.
All 10 wins have come against NL East foes. It's the first time in franchise history the Yankees have won that many in a row against teams with winning records, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
It's also the Yankees' longest winning streak since May 2005.
"It's not easy to do in this game because you play a lot of good teams during the streak," Girardi said. "With all that's gone on in baseball, the revenue-sharing, all they've tried to do, there's parity in baseball, and our guys have just really done a good job of finding ways to win games."
The Braves have found ways to lose lately, falling for the eighth time in nine games. They also dropped their fourth straight game played against the Yankees, who swept them in Atlanta last week.
"We had some opportunities earlier in the game against CC, and like he always does, he just keeps getting stronger and tougher as the game goes on," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "... We haven't battled at-bats the way we were doing early on. Stick your nose in there and battle."
Jeter provided that type of at-bat for the Yankees with a two-out, two-run single on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth. The hit gave the Yankees their first lead, 3-2, after they fell behind 2-0. Russell Martin's RBI double earlier in the inning drove in Alex Rodriguez, who had led off with a single for the Yankees' first hit.
"I hit it where they weren't. I haven't got anything else for you," Jeter said with a smile of his single up the middle. "The 3-2 pitch was probably a ball. Too close to take."
Teixeira homered in the sixth, Jeter added a run with a RBI single in the seventh, and Cano made it 6-2 with a solo shot in the eighth.
"Russell gets the two-out double to get the first run in, and then Jete did a tremendous job getting a couple two-out hits," Girardi said. "Those were real important, and then we got the tack-on runs later on."
Sabathia (9-3) entered the night as the only starter in the Yankees' rotation not to post an ERA under 2.00 for June, but he at least hit the mark for Monday's game. He allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out 10 in his first complete game of the season.
He was helped by some nifty defense, with Jeter diving to make a stop on Michael Bourn's bid for a third hit in the seventh, and Cano making a nice short-hop play on Dan Uggla's grounder to end the eighth.
Girardi credited a more consistent sinker, while Sabathia said pitching coach Larry Rothschild helped him make some mechanical adjustments in the past week.
It all added up to what catcher Chris Stewart called "one of the better games I've caught him all year, if not the best."
Minor (3-5) allowed four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings before the Yankees tagged the bullpen for a pair of late runs.
The Sports Xchange