Postgame notes: Sabathia, Nunez, Wells

April, 13, 2013
The triple-play ball is quietly becoming part of CC Sabathia's repertoire.

In 2010, with the lefty on the mound, the Yankees turned their first triple play in 41 years, against the A's. Friday night, the Yankees turned their second one since 1969, once again with their veteran ace toeing the rubber.

"They bailed me out both times," Sabathia said. "I'm definitely grateful for them."

The triple play helped Sabathia get the win over the Orioles, as he pitched eight masterful innings in a 5-2 victory. Sabathia lost the game that included the previous triple play, but improved to 2-1 with the win Friday.

"It was awesome," Sabathia said. "Any time you get a triple play you're fired up and these guys did a great job."

Since giving up four runs in the second inning on Opening Day, Sabathia has been excellent, giving up just one earned run in his last two starts. On Friday, he struck out nine Orioles and kept their lineup in check by getting ahead in the count. Sabathia said he felt his changeup and cutter worked well.

"I thought he was brilliant tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think that was probably the best stuff he's had all year and that's encouraging as we go along."

The southpaw gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, as the other came because of an error and a controversial balk call. With the Yankees up 2-1 and a runner on first in the seventh, Sabathia got called for a balk, a call he and Girardi disagreed with. That runner came around to score and tied the game at 2-2.

First base umpire Larry Vanover told Sabathia that he went to his glove while wiping his hand on his pants, a point Sabathia disagreed with after the game.

"I know I didn't move my front side," Sabathia said. "I always wipe my hand off and that's something I do pretty much every pitch. It's just one of those things."

NUNEZ: Infielder Eduardo Nunez is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch and suffering a right wrist contusion in the second inning. Nunez left the game shortly thereafter -- X-rays came back negative, but Girardi isn't expecting Nunez to be in the lineup on Saturday.

"We'll check with him, see how he is tomorrow," Girardi said. "I don't necessarily expect him to be in there tomorrow but if he comes in and says he's OK, he'll be in."

This is the second time Nunez has been hit by a pitch and suffered an injury this year, as he bruised his right bicep after being hit on April 5 in Detroit. Nunez missed the next game and pinch-ran two days later before fully returning on April 8.

WELLS BENEFITS: Vernon Wells knows he caught a break Friday night.

With the bases loaded in the seventh inning and the game tied at 2-2, Wells smacked a ball to center and Adam Jones seemed to have it easily. Jones tracked it down with no problem, but he couldn't corral the ball, dropping it while blowing a bubble from his gum, which allowed three runs to score.

"I crushed that ball. Then I see him coasting and pulling up on it and I figured he had it," Wells said. "That's not something you're going to see too often from Adam Jones. It worked out for us in this case. That's definitely a rare occurrence."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor



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