x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Rest puts a spring in Sabathia's step

CC Sabathia won his 19th game of the season as the New York Yankees moved within a game of the American League East title.

CC Sabathia is getting ready for the post-season.
CC Sabathia is getting ready for the post-season.

CC Sabathia won his 19th game of the season as the New York Yankees moved within a game of the American League (AL) East title with a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Pitching after six days' rest, Sabathia held the Red Sox to one hit over seven innings in the Yankees' fourth consecutive win. Last season with Milwaukee, he had just three days' rest for his last four appearances.

"It definitely feels good to have a lead and be able to get the extra days off," he said. "Last year, I think it took a toll on me mentally more than it did physically." "I think the extra rest has really helped him," said the Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "We want to make sure he's really strong going into October." New York, who have already qualified for the play-offs, have the best record (99-56).

A satisfied Girardi said: "You'd like to clinch it as soon as possible so you could maybe give the guys a couple days and make sure that you keep them well rested and strong." Boston (91-63) are also likely to make the post-season with a healthy lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL wild card race. They need three more wins to qualify. Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox first baseman, said: "Both of us are probably going to the play-offs unless we don't do something right."

The Detroit Tigers overcame a slow start to beat the Chicago White Sox 12-5. Miguel Cabrera's four hits, including a solo home run in the fifth, put paid to the fine start of the pitcher Freddy Garcia after the Tigers had been held to one hit over the first four innings. The Minnesota Twins are two games behind the Tigers after an 11-6 defeat of the Kansas City Royals. The Royals took an early lead on back-to-back homers by Alberto Callaspo and Bryan Pena in the second before the pitcher Scott Baker retired 13 players.

But Denard Span had four hits and six RBIs, including a bases-clearing triple in the fourth inning. Adam Lind hit two homers, including the clincher in the 10th, as the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Seattle Mariners 5-4. * With agencies