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Behind CC, Yankees Back in First

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New York Yankees' CC Sabathia delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ CC Sabathia tossed eight stingy innings to win
for the seventh time in his last eight starts, Alex Rodriguez drove
in three runs and the New York Yankees finally beat the Colorado
Rockies, 8-3 on Saturday.

A dozen pitchers began the day with nine wins, but Sabathia
(10-4) won the race to double digits. The big left-hander allowed
one run while striking out nine, improving to 19-7 all-time in
interleague play. That win total makes him baseball’s active
leader.

He threw just 103 pitches, but manager Joe Girardi decided
against letting him finish the game. Buddy Carlyle promptly gave up
Ty Wigginton’s two-run homer in the ninth.

Seth Smith drove in the Rockies’ only other run with a pinch-hit
single in the eighth.

Mark Teixeira added a two-run homer for New York, Jorge Posada
had three hits and the Yankees pounded out 15 total. Everybody in
their starting lineup had a hit off Rockies starter Aaron Cook
(0-3) except Robinson Cano, who went 0 for 4 for the second
straight game.

The Yankees lost the series opener 4-2 on Friday night, and
together with a series sweep four years ago at Coors Field, had
lost four straight to the Rockies.

They didn’t waste any time jumping ahead Saturday.

Brett Gardner laid down a perfect bunt toward third on Cook’s
first pitch and Wigginton didn’t even bother making a throw to
first. Gardner swiped second base with ease, then sped home when
Curtis Granderson dribbled a single through the right side of the
infield.

Outfielder Eric Young bobbled the ball and Granderson wound up
at second. The error proved costly moments later when A-Rod’s base
hit gave New York a 2-0 lead.

Granderson and Rodriguez helped add three more runs in the
third.

New York’s hot-hitting outfielder started off with a blooper to
left, and Teixeira followed with a rocket to center that put
runners on second and third. A-Rod then went opposite field for a
two-run double, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick
Swisher, sliding head first to beat the throw from Ryan Spilborghs
at the plate.

Back-to-back doubles by Swisher and Posada made it 6-0 in the
sixth.

Most of that offense was unnecessary with Sabathia on the mound,
though that’s been the norm this season. His run-support average is
the highest in the major leagues.

It helped that Rockies manager Jim Tracy seemed to concede
defeat.

He took star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki out in the seventh
inning, and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and leading hitter Todd
Helton left the game in the eighth.

By then, the Rockies had squandered their best scoring
opportunities.

Spilborghs led off the fifth with a double and reached third
base before Sabathia wiggled out of trouble. In the sixth, Young
and Helton opened with consecutive singles before Tulowitzki
grounded into a double play and Jason Giambi went down swinging.

Cook wound up allowing six runs, five earned, on 12 hits in 5
2-3 innings.

NOTES: Derek Jeter (right calf) took 27 swings off a tee and 30
swings of soft toss Saturday at the Yankees’ spring training
complex. … Rockies closer Huston Street was unavailable after
saving Friday night’s 4-2 win. Manager Jim Tracy said there was
some soreness in Street’s groin area. … The series finale Sunday
starts at 2:20 p.m. because of Old-Timers’ Day. Lou Piniella, Joe
Torre and Bernie Williams are scheduled to make their first
appearances.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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