CC Sabathia struck out nine batters Friday night in the Bronx, but by the time things were all said and done, it wasn't the strikeouts that left people talking about his performance. No, it was the pair of homeruns that he would serve up in the 6th inning that doomed the Yankees in their 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Sabathia cruised into the 6th innings after tossing five scoreless innings to start the game, Johnny Gomes opened the frame by hitting a solo homerun to left field to even tie the game at 1-1. And that was just the beginning.
Sabathia struck out Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz reached on an infield single after tapping a ball to the third base side with the infield shifted over, and Mike Napoli singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with just one out for Grady Sizemore, who belted a three-run homerun to right field to give the Sox a 4-1 lead.
Sabathia looked a little shaken up after giving up the Gomes homerun, and his pitches started to lose some of the sharpness it had. He made a mistake to Sizemore, and he took advantage of it.
After giving up the Sizemore homerun, Sabathia was able to bounce back by striking out Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Roberts to end the inning.
He was able to make it through the 7th for the Yankees, which was a big help in giving the bullpen a little bit more rest. He finished with the four runs on six hits while walking two, and tossing 111 pitches (73 strikes). He looked really good through the first five inning, but ran into trouble in the 6th, as he has so often in the past. That was the only thing that killed him in his third start of the season.
The Yankees took an early lead in the 2nd inning on a solo bomb to left field by Alfonso Soriano, wrapping it around the foul pole for his second homerun of the season. Kelly Johnson added a run in the 7th to cut the Red Sox's lead to 4-2 with an RBI single off Jon Lester, who was pretty sharp on the mound for Boston.
Johnson's RBI single came after a Brian Roberts that the Yankees got away with. It looked like Lester had thrown a strike on the outer edge of the plate on a 1-2 pitch, but it was called a ball. Lester had begun walking off the mound, thinking it was a strike. He would walk Roberts a couple pitches later, and was not very happy after that, especially after giving up the single to Johnson, the following batter.
After giving up the run, Red Sox manager Jon Ferrell decided to go to his bullpen, pulling Lester from the game after 6.2 inning, giving up two runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out six for his first win of the season.
Junichi Tazawa came on in relief and gave up just a Soriano single in the 8th inning in 1.1 innings of work. And for some reason, Edward Mujica closed out the game for Boston rather than their star closer, Koji Uehara. Either way, set down the Yankees in order in the 9th to end the game.
Out of the bullpen for the Yankees, Cesar Cabral walked David Ortiz on four pitches to open the 8th. He left, Adam Warren came in and finished off the inning while permitting a hit. Then Dellin Betances pitched the 9th, and he looked very good, striking out the side.
Game three of this series takes place tomorrow afternoon, with Hiroki Kuroda facing off with John Lackey at 1:05 pm ET.