After an uneven August, Sabathia will try to get his September off to a better start as he goes for his seventh straight victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Sabathia (18-7, 2.99 ERA) is second in the major leagues in wins behind Detroit’s Justin Verlander(notes), who has 21. However, the left-hander allowed opponents to hit .331 against him in six August starts while posting a 4.68 ERA.
He still finished the month with a winning record, though, improving to 3-2 after defeating Boston on Tuesday. Sabathia gave up two runs and 10 hits while striking out 10 in six innings of a 5-2 win.
It was the third time in four games he allowed 10 hits, matching a season high.
“He got big outs when he had to, and that’s CC,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Sabathia threw a season-high 128 pitches, and while Girardi said Sabathia will be monitored Sunday, the manager ultimately didn’t think it was necessary to push his staff ace’s start back.
“Physically, he said he was good and CC’s honest and he’ll let us know if he needs the extra day,” Girardi told the Yankees’ official website.
Sabathia has won six straight starts against the Blue Jays, including two this year. He gave up one run and three hits in eight innings of a 4-1 victory July 16 in the most recent meeting.
Sabathia should have plenty of offense behind him.
Despite being without some of their top hitters the past two games, the Yankees (84-53) are still going for a series sweep and their fourth straight win overall.
The AL East leaders won 6-4 Saturday behind Robinson Cano(notes) and Francisco Cevelli, who each drove in two runs. Alex Rodriguez(notes) returned to the lineup after missing the previous six games with a strained left thumb. He went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Mark Teixeira(notes) and Derek Jeter(notes) were out. Teixeira was hit by a pitch on his right knee on Thursday and has missed the last two games, although he hopes to return Sunday, while Jeter was given a regular day off.
Thanks to Cano, it didn’t matter. His two-run double put the Yankees ahead in the seventh and gives him 101 RBIs. He also drove in the go-ahead run in Friday’s 3-2 win and has six RBIs the last five games.
“This kid loves to play the game, loves pressure moments,” Girardi said of Cano, who has reached 100 RBIs for the second straight year. “It’s a pleasure to pencil his name in there every day. It’s real easy.”
Cecil is 0-3 with a 4.81 ERA in his last six starts. He allowed four runs in six innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss to Baltimore on Tuesday.
The left-hander had a four-decision winning streak against the Yankees snapped April 20 after he gave up five runs and four walks in five innings of a 6-2 loss.