Sabathia didn’t allow a runner past second base while pitching into the eighth inning and New York beat Boston 5-0 for its sixth consecutive win.
“When you pitch, you’re always going to have a chance to win,” Jeter said.
Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) lined a clean single to center with two outs in the sixth for Boston’s first hit off Sabathia (12-7), who improved to 4-1 in his last five starts. The big left-hander got a standing ovation from the sellout crowd, and promptly struck out Dustin Pedroia(notes) to end the inning.
Sabathia allowed two hits, walked two and struck out nine in 7 2-3 innings, tying his season high of 123 pitches set June 11 in a loss at Fenway Park and matching Burnett’s terrific outing in Friday night’s 2-0 victory.
“A.J. definitely set the tone,” Sabathia said. “I was just trying to do the same thing and be the 1-2 punch that we came here, you know, to be.”
New York gave Sabathia and Burnett $243.5 million in free-agent contracts in the offseason for precisely the type of performances they delivered against Boston. Burnett limited the Red Sox to just one hit in the second game of the series and the Yankees went on to win on Alex Rodriguez’s(notes) two-run homer in the 15th inning.
“They showed they can throw at a very high level and in a very important game,” New York manager Joe Girardi said. “The stakes were high, and they came up big.”
The Red Sox won their first eight games against the rival Yankees this season but this trip to the Bronx has been a disaster. The slumping lineup hasn’t produced a run in the last 24 innings and is 3 for 33 with runners in scoring position for the series. Their last extra-base hit was Casey Kotchman’s(notes) two-run homer in the fourth inning of Thursday night’s 13-6 loss.
“The last two nights, we’ve done nothing,” manager Terry Francona said. “We’ve faced two really good pitchers and we’ve done nothing.”
“We have a chance to extend the distance tomorrow,” Girardi said, “and any time you have a chance to do that, they’re really important games.”
New York’s shutout streak against Boston is its longest versus the Red Sox since a 33-inning stretch from Sept. 1-24, 1952, according to STATS LLC. It shut out Boston in consecutive home games in one season for the first time since 1963.
“CC was dominant,” Pedroia said. “Everyone knows how good he is. I think A.J. was pretty damn good yesterday, too.”
Boston’s one bright spot was Clay Buchholz(notes) (1-2), who allowed two runs and six hits over six solid innings. The right-hander bounced back after allowing seven runs and nine hits in four-plus innings in his previous start last Sunday at Baltimore.
Ramon Ramirez replaced him in the seventh and was ejected after hitting Alex Rodriguez on the left arm with one out. Ramirez threw a fastball up and in to Mark Teixeira(notes) before Rodriguez came to the plate.
Both teams were warned after Buchholz threw a pitch behind Rodriguez in the first, but Francona said he didn’t understand the ejection and Ramirez said he was surprised when he was thrown out.
“I think sometimes this series gets too much hype and we can’t play the games,” Francona said.
“Only the individual actually knows the intent,” Girardi said after A-Rod was plunked. “But we expected something to happen, and I think it happened.”
Teixeira hit an RBI single in the third and Jose Molina(notes) added a sacrifice fly in the sixth for New York, which has won 30 of 40 overall to improve to a major league-best 68-42. Nick Swisher(notes) also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the seventh.
Sabathia carried a perfect game into the fifth, retiring the first 13 batters before David Ortiz(notes) walked on a 3-2 pitch that was just inside. The Yankee Stadium crowd groaned as the embattled Boston slugger jogged down to first.
Ortiz went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts hours after he said he never knowingly used steroids and that over-the-counter supplements and vitamins likely caused him to land on a list of alleged drug users circulated by the federal government. He is batting just .171 (6 for 35) with two homers and six RBIs since the July 30 report that he was on the 2003 list.
Sabathia didn’t seem fazed by his first baserunner, retiring Mike Lowell(notes) on a flyout to center before J.D. Drew(notes) struck out to end the inning. He left after striking out Kotchman in the eighth, waving his cap to acknowledge the standing ovation from the 48,796 fans.
“I had goose bumps walking off,” he said. “It was unbelievable to get that type of ovation.”
NOTES: Boston LF Jason Bay(notes) ran before the game for the second straight day and said his injured right hamstring felt good. He hopes to play in the next couple of days. … The Yankees also shut out Boston in consecutive games at Fenway Park in 2002.