Sabathia looks to become the Yankees franchise’s first pitcher in more than a century to win 18 games in each of his first three seasons with the club Wednesday night against the visiting A’s.
New York (77-49) has dropped two of three to Oakland since winning 11 straight in the series. The Yankees stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss in Tuesday’s opener.
Oakland (58-70) has not won two straight games or a series versus New York since taking the final two of a three-game set in the Bronx from June 29-July 1, 2007. The A’s can accomplish both Wednesday, but they’ll need to avoid a third consecutive loss to Sabathia (17-7, 2.96 ERA).
The left-hander is looking to become the first Yankees pitcher since Jack Chesbro in 1903-05 to win at least 18 games in his first three seasons with the team - then known as the New York Highlanders. He would be the fifth Yankee to win 18 in any three consecutive seasons, and the first since Vic Raschi did it from 1948-51.
Sabathia allowed one run and struck out 15 in 15 2-3 innings to win both of his starts versus Oakland in 2010. He limited the Athletics to one hit in eight innings of a 5-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 2.
He had suffered two straight losses overall, but got credit for last Thursday’s 8-4 victory at Minnesota after yielding four runs and 10 hits in seven innings, striking out nine.
“I felt good,” said Sabathia, who has allowed 10 hits in three of his last four outings and nine in the other. “I kind of got back to slinging the ball.”
Alex Rodriguez(notes), meanwhile, does not feel good after he jammed his thumb in his return from knee surgery Sunday in Minnesota. Though X-rays were negative, it’s uncertain if he will be able to return after missing Tuesday’s loss.
“Hopefully it gets a lot better by (Wednesday),” manager Joe Girardi said.
Derek Jeter(notes) will be in the lineup after he had three hits Tuesday to tie Rod Carew for 22nd all-time with 3,053. Since recording his 3,000th hit July 9, Jeter has batted .367 with 24 RBIs in 37 games.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 13.50 lifetime ERA against the Yankees, and has allowed 18 runs in six innings while going 0-2 at Yankee Stadium. He gave up 10 in two innings of a 17-7 loss July 22 in the Bronx.
“It was kind of embarrassing,” Cahill said.
He will try to avoid matching a career high for losses after giving up seven runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-0 defeat to Toronto on Thursday to fall to 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA in four starts since beating Tampa Bay on July 27.
“It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve figured it out over a couple of starts and then I’ll go into a funk for a couple of starts,” Cahill said. “There’s just been no consistency.”
First baseman Brandon Allen(notes) hit a pair of tape-measure home runs Tuesday as Oakland won for the fifth time in seven games. Acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline, Allen is 13 for 33 (.394) in 10 games since being called up Aug. 13.