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Yankees win fourth straight but lose Sabathia to DL

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- The New York Yankees won their fourth game in a row Saturday by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 before 45,582 at Rogers Centre as Casey McGehee hit a three-run homer and Ivan Nova struck out 10 in 7 1/3 innings.

But there was some bad news for the Yankees as well, as staff ace CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his elbow. The move was announced after Saturday's game.

"As far as the concern, it's pretty low level, because it's not like it got any worse," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He wants to pitch on Monday, which I'm not surprised because he said he dealt with it before. We just decided: Let's try to get it cleaned up now."

Sabathia could return Aug. 24 against Cleveland.

"We're going to have to deal with it; that's the bottom line," Girardi said. "We don't want to, but we need to have him healthy. If we're going to continue to move on, we need to have him healthy. I was thinking he could possibly make his next start. We weren't sure. The treatment that he's had over this time, it has responded OK, but the fact that it came back concerned us."

Meanwhile, the third sellout home crowd to watch the Blue Jays this season saw their team lose for the fifth game in a row.

Nova (11-6) entered the game winless since July 8 at Boston. In his eight previous starts before Saturday, he was 1-4 with an earned-run average of 5.89.

The right-hander allowed five hits and two runs Saturday.

"He threw really well today," Girardi said. "I thought his curveball was very good. For the most part he spotted his fastball pretty well. He threw some good sliders today; it was more consistent than it has been. I was proud of what he did today. He got after it."

"It was great; it was right where I wanted it," Nova said of his slider. "The first slider that I threw was a strikeout. I saw the movement that slider had."

Derek Jeter, who had two hits, said, "It's good to see that he went out there and threw the ball well. Everyone knows how good Nova can be when he's on, and evidently he was on today."

Jeter has 150 hits for the 17th consecutive season. Hank Aaron is the only other player to accomplish that (1955-77).

After David Robertson finished up the eighth, Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 28th save.

Left-hander Aaron Laffey (3-3), the Toronto starter, allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings.

His downfall came in the fourth, when he allowed four runs.

"It's one of those games where you kind of beat your head against the wall," Laffey said. "You pitched real well pretty much the entire game and have one inning wreck the whole outing. I kind of put the team out of the game a little bit."

Mark Teixeira led off the fourth with a single. After Robinson Cano was out on a fly to the wall in center, Andruw Jones walked. Jayson Nix singled in a run with two out and McGehee followed with his first homer of the season to put the Yankees ahead 4-0. Chris Stewart doubled, but Jeter ended the inning on a ground-out.

"Can't let it be one pitch every time out. You just can't let that happen," Laffey said. "You've got to make your misses smaller. In that inning, I left two balls up and over the plate. And they did what big-league hitters do with that, especially this ballclub, one in the gap and one over the fence."

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said, "He used four pitches today for strikes; but as deep as that lineup is, regardless of what the batting averages say, they have the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark one through nine. But when you look back at the last three or four starts with Laffey, it has been the one pitch in a key spot where it's found the middle of the plate."

Nova retired the first nine Toronto hitters before Rajai Davis led off the fourth with a single. He took second on a balk and scored on Edwin Encarnacion's one-out single.

Yunel Escobar was hit by a pitch for the first of two times, but Nova ended the inning on a strikeout and a ground-out.

Laffey was able to shut down the Yankees in the fifth but couldn't get out of the sixth when they extended their lead to 5-1.

McGehee doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Jeter. Laffey walked Nick Swisher before being replaced by left-hander Aaron Loup, who ended the inning on a ground-out.

Both teams were warned by plate umpire Jim Joyce after Escobar was hit for the second plate appearance in a row in the bottom of the sixth. It followed a walk to Encarnacion. Nova ended the inning on a couple of grounders, one resulting in a force at second and the other needing a nice play by Cano on a grounder to second. Escobar came out of the game in the eighth with a sore left elbow.

Laffey had hit Granderson with a pitch in the second inning.

"Purely accidental obviously with me," Laffey said. "I was trying to go hard in there. I was trying to go hard in on the lefties. That's part of the game. I couldn't tell you whether or not he (Nova) was trying to go after Eskie (Escobar) on purpose or not. It could have been the same thing; they could have been trying to pitch him in just like I was throwing in to those guys, I came up and in on Cano a couple of times as well. So you could probably say the same thing."

The Blue Jays scored once in the bottom of the eighth. Davis led off with a double and stole third with one out. He scored on an infield hit by Encarnacion. Robertson took over from Nova and induced an inning-ending double play from Omar Vizquel, batting for Escobar. Escobar is listed as day to day.

NOTES: Jeter was the DH Saturday. ... Yankees OF Ichiro Suzuki, who Friday equaled his career high with five RBI, was not in the starting lineup Saturday but entered the game in left field in the ninth. ... Toronto CF Colby Rasmus aggravated a groin injury in Friday's 10-4 Yankee win and did not start Saturday. OF Anthony Gose started in center. ... Toronto recalled INF Mike McCoy and demoted RHP David Carpenter. ... Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (11-9, 4.10 ERA) will pitch Sunday's series finale against LHP J.A. Happ (1-0, 6.35 ERA).
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