CC Sabathia doesn’t mind being a spectator at the All-Star Game, even if he is more than deserving of being the American League’s starting pitcher.
Sabathia allowed one run in seven innings and won his eighth straight start, and New York roughed up the Mariners for an 8-2 victory yesterday in Seattle. The Yankees (56-32) head into the break with baseball’s best record.
Despite his stellar stats, Sabathia will have to watch the Midsummer Classic in Anaheim, Calif. A new rule disallows any pitcher who started yesterday from participating in tomorrow’s game.
“There’s still a long way to go, still a lot of baseball left so I just want to keep going,’’ said Sabathia (12-3), who joined Tampa Bay’s David Price as the only 12-game winners in the AL. He is the first Yankee to win eight straight starts since Roger Clemens in 2001.
“He’s that type of pitcher, when he gets on a roll, when things get right he can be extremely effective,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s using all his pitches, his velocity has been great, his location has been great. He’s in a good groove.’’
Sabathia made it look easy against the punchless Mariners. After consecutive singles from Casey Kotchman and Justin Smoak in the second inning, Sabathia set down the next 11 batters. He struck out one, walked one, and took a shutout into the sixth.
Meanwhile, the Yankees knocked around Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-9) for six hits and six runs in just four innings. Mark Teixeira went 4 for 5 with two doubles, and Marcus Thames hit a two-run homer.
White Sox 15, Royals 5 — Carlos Quentin hit a grand slam and a solo homer, and host Chicago moved into first place in the AL Central after trailing by as many as 9 1/2 games on June 9.
Andruw Jones cracked his 400th career homer during the White Sox’ seven-run, four-homer third, which highlighted the team’s eighth straight win.
Phillies 1, Reds 0 — With Cole Hamels (7-7) pitching six-hit ball into the eighth and Jimmy Rollins providing the only RBI, host Philadelphia recorded consecutive 1-0 victories for the first time since 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Phillies swept the dramatic four-game series by a combined five runs. Rollins’s RBI single in the third followed a ground-rule double by Carlos Ruiz, who broke up a perfect game in the ninth inning Saturday.
Rays 6, Indians 5 — Jason Bartlett singled over a drawn-in outfield to score Carl Crawford in the 10th and lift Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla. Crawford also homered for the Rays, who are 9-2 in July.
Orioles 4, Rangers 1 — Baltimore finished off its first four-game road sweep since 1995, with Jake Arrieta (3-2) limiting AL West-leading Texas to six hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Twins 6, Tigers 3 — Carl Pavano (10-6) pitched into the eighth and Michael Cuddyer drove in two runs, helping visiting Minnesota make up for the absences of Justin Morneau (concussion) and Joe Mauer (sore shoulder).
Athletics 5, Angels 2 — Host Oakland beat Angels ace Jered Weaver (8-5) for the second time this season, and Jack Cust hit the deciding two-run homer in the fourth.
Padres 9, Rockies 7 — Colorado reliever Matt Belisle’s bases-loaded throwing error led to two unearned runs in the eighth and Everth Cabrera hit his first homer of the season in the ninth as San Diego averted a three-game sweep in Denver.
Giants 6, Nationals 2 — Travis Ishikawa drove in three runs and rookie Madison Bumgarner (2-2) took a shutout into the seventh as visiting San Francisco ended the first half by winning seven of nine.
Mets 3, Braves 0 — Host New York dodged a three-game sweep as Johan Santana (7-5) shut out Atlanta over seven innings.
Dodgers 7, Cubs 0 — Vicente Padilla (4-2) allowed just two hits over eight innings and James Loney homered for host Los Angeles.
Brewers 6, Pirates 5 — With one out in the ninth, Corey Hart hit a two-run homer to give host Milwaukee a three-game sweep.
Cardinals 4, Astros 2 — Matt Holliday’s three-run homer in the fourth keyed St. Louis’s comeback win in Houston.
Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 0 — Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla had RBIs and six Florida pitchers combined on the shutout in Phoenix.