CC Sabathia is the New York Yankees' eraser. If they have a problem, they just throw Sabathia at it and it is gone, writes Andrew Marchand. Story
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The Boston Red Sox failed to capitalize on a game without A-Rod as the New York Yankees prevailed Saturday, writes Gordon Edes. Story
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Struck on the inside of his left ankle by a sharp grounder in batting practice, Rodriguez managed to get up and walk to the locker room. X-rays were negative, though it's uncertain when the All-Star third baseman will return to the lineup."Do I expect him to play tomorrow? I have no idea," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.Rodriguez was hit by Lance Berkman's ball while fielding grounders, standing even with the third base bag. A-Rod said he'd just waved to Fox announcer Joe Buck when he got zinged."I never saw it," Rodriguez said. "It'd never happened to me before."Rodriguez walked toward a protective screen in shallow center field, then went down on the grass for a couple of minutes with a bruise. Three days after hitting his 600th career home run, he was listed as day to day."He was in a substantial amount of pain," Girardi said.Once the game began, the Yankees were fine. Sabathia outpitched John Lackey, Ramiro Pena drove in two runs while subbing for the injured Rodriguez and New York stopped its mini-slide."It's what we needed. CC stepped up for us today," Girardi said.Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead single in the fifth inning for the Yankees, who had kept the best record in the majors despite losing four of their previous five games.Sabathia (14-5) shook off an early homer by Victor Martinez and matched Tampa Bay's David Price for the AL wins lead.Pitching two days after the birth of his fourth child -- another CC, his new son's name is Carter Charles -- Sabathia earned his 150th career victory. He pitched six-hit ball for eight innings and improved to 13-0 in 18 starts at Yankee Stadium since the 2009 All-Star break."It's been an exciting week," Sabathia said.Sabathia was hardly his dominant self. Instead, as shadows crept across the field, the big left-hander was extremely efficient. He posted his first win against the Red Sox this year after his other three starts all resulted in no-decisions.Sabathia, however, was especially tough on David Ortiz. The Boston slugger struck out three times and grounded into a double play in his other at-bat.Mariano Rivera closed in the ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances.Lackey (10-7) was in trouble for most of his six innings. He's won only once in his last seven starts, not what a Red Sox team running out of time needs down the stretch. Boston fell to 4-6 against the Yankees this year -- the clubs play eight more times this season, including two in this wraparound series.It was 2-all in the fifth when Lackey quickly retired the first two batters. Singles by Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira brought up Cano, and he lined an RBI single to right as J.D. Drew battled a tough sun field. Jorge Posada followed with a run-scoring single."I made a lot of good pitches and just got nickeled and dimed to death. Little slaps that found holes," Lackey said. "I definitely think I threw the ball better than the numbers indicate."Pena hit an RBI single in the sixth. The fill-in third baseman also drove in a run with a groundout."Trying to do my job," he said.Martinez hit the first home run off Sabathia in more than two months, opening the second with a drive off his former Cleveland batterymate. Sabathia had gone 80 2/3 innings without allowing a homer.Adrian Beltre and Mike Lowell followed with doubles that put Boston ahead 2-0.Curtis Granderson hit an RBI triple in the second and scored the tying run on Pena's grounder with Boston's infield playing back. Lackey stabbed in vain for Pena's bouncer, and slapped his hand into his glove when the ball got past him.
The crowd of 49,716 was the largest of the season at Yankee Stadium. ... Berkman was booed during another hitless game that left him 2-for-22 since he was acquired from Houston. "This is a big boy's game and place to play. Trust me, I'm booing myself," Berkman said. "I have no credibility here. I haven't won a championship here. You have to earn the fans' respect." Berkman said all he's earned from the fans so far "is their ire." ... Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte, out since July 18 with a groin injury, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday and pitch a simulated game either Thursday or Friday at the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. If all goes well, he would make a minor league rehab start early the next week.