Sabathia dominates in Yankees' win over Pirates

The left-hander dazzles over seven scoreless innings as New York tops Pittsburgh
03/21/2014 10:23 PM ET
By Lou DiPieto

CC Sabathia struck out seven over seven scoreless innings for New York.(AP)
CC Sabathia was dominant under the lights Friday, going seven scoreless innings to help lead the New York Yankees to a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Steinbrenner Field.

Sabathia made the longest start of any Yankee so far this spring, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out seven. He finished his night by retiring nine in a row after Jordy Mercer reached on a fielding error leading off the fifth.

The Yankees' defense also pitched in, helping Sabathia avoid runner reaching third base. The infield turned a pair of double plays to escape two-on, one-out jams, and catcher Brian McCann gunned down two runners trying to steal second base, with both coming on the back end of a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play to end an inning.

Offensively, the Yankees gave Sabathia all he needed with a two-out rally in the first inning. Carlos Beltran started it with a single, and after Mark Teixeira walked, McCann followed with a double that scored Beltran to make it 1-0. Volquez would later uncork a wild pitch, scoring Teixeira to make it 2-0.

The Yankees would add two more in the second, loading the bases on a Johnson walk and back-to-back singles by Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki before Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter hit consecutive RBI groundouts. Offense was at a premium for both teams after that, but the Yankees forged one last rally in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs before ex-Yankees farmhand Daniel McCutchen struck out Zelous Wheeler to end the inning.

However, they wouldn't need any more because the Yankees bullpen was even better than Sabathia, with Matt Thornton (2/3 IP), Shawn Kelley (1/3 IP) and David Robertson (1 IP) sending Pittsburgh six up, six down over the final two frames.

With the win, the Yankees improved to 14-9-2 in the Grapefruit League and 15-9-2 on the spring overall. It's a quick turnaround and a long trip for them on Saturday, though, as they head back to Fort Myers for a 1 p.m. date with the Minnesota Twins. Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound for that game, and the Yankees also have Hiroki Kuroda scheduled to pitch in a minor-league contest back in Tampa as well.

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