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Sweet Sixteen

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CC Sabathia

By JAY COHEN  AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) _ CC Sabathia pitched eight strong innings to earn
his major league-best 16th win and the New York Yankees beat the
Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Monday for their fourth consecutive
victory.

Sabathia allowed two runs and 10 hits, matching a season high,
but managed to wiggle out of trouble all night as the White Sox
struggled to score without injured slugger Paul Konerko. They put
the tying run in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh
and came away with nothing each time.

Sabathia (16-5) improved to 9-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last 10
starts, burnishing his credentials for a second AL Cy Young Award.
The big left-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his
last 21 outings.

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 32
chances and second in as many days.

Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost
three straight games. Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham
each had two hits.

White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (4-5) settled down after a
rough start and pitched seven effective innings. The 2007 NL Cy
Young Award winner gave up three runs and eight hits, but still
dropped his fourth consecutive decision.

Both teams were without their captains for the opener of the
four-game series. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter rested with a
bruised right middle finger and is expected to return to the lineup
Tuesday, but Konerko could miss the next couple of days with a
bruised left calf.

Both All-Stars were injured when they were hit by a pitch on
Sunday.
“I can’t bear any weight,” Konerko said. “That’s probably the
main thing. Just very weak. That’s very normal where I got hit.
Just keep working at it.”

The inconsistent White Sox trailed AL Central-leading Detroit by
four games entering play on Monday, and could lose more ground if
they are without their best player for a prolonged stretch. Konerko
leads Chicago regulars with a .305 batting average, 25 homers and
76 RBIs.
His absence was felt almost immediately.

Fill-in first baseman Adam Dunn made a nice diving stop on Brett
Gardner’s leadoff grounder in the first, but couldn’t get the ball
out of his glove in time to retire the speedy outfielder. Curtis
Granderson followed with a run-scoring double into the right-field
corner and came around to score when Robinson Cano’s hard, one-out
grounder skipped past Dunn for an RBI single.

Dunn also came up with the tying run on second in the sixth and
struck out swinging to end the inning, leading to more jeers from
the frustrated crowd of 24,142 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Granderson scored on Cano’s double-play grounder to give New
York a 3-0 lead in the third, but the Yankees struggled after their
fast start. They recorded six of their eight hits in the first
three innings.

NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said 3B Alex Rodriguez (right
knee surgery) is expected to resume baseball activities on Thursday
at the team’s spring facility in Florida. … RHP Ivan Nova will
start the series finale Thursday, giving New York a six-man
rotation for at least the next week. The move provides some extra
rest for aging starters Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, and likely
sets up a competition between Phil Hughes and Nova for a starting
spot. Hughes is scheduled to face LHP John Danks on Tuesday. …
The Yankees and White Sox split a four-game series in New York from
April 25-28. … Peavy threw a season-high 115 pitches.
____

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

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