Sabathia won his third straight decision on Sunday against Toronto, as he allowed two runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings to run his record to 19-7 on the year, while lowering his earned run average to 2.97. He also struck out 10 batters for the second straight outing and retired 13 of the final 14 hitters he faced.
"I wasn't as concerned about 128 pitches [in his last start], because I've seen him do it before and I've always told you I think he's really strong," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought he was really good today. But the reason I didn't let him continue is that he had the 128 pitches."
With the win, Sabathia became the first American League pitcher with 19 or more wins in three straight seasons since Oakland's Dave Stewart won 20 or more games in each season from 1987-1990. Should he win tonight he would become the first pitcher since Houston's Roy Oswalt (2004-05) to post back-to- back 20 win seasons and the first Yankee to do it since Tommy John (1978-79).
"It'd be cool to win it," Sabathia said. "I'm more concerned with just trying to helping the team win. I don't think it's that big of a deal. It's a cool thing to have and to think about when I'm done playing, but right now, I just want to keep going out and helping the team win."
Sabathia was brilliant in beating the Angels the last time he faced them, surrendering just two runs (one earned) in 8 1/3 frames, but is a mere 6-7 lifetime against them with a 4.39 ERA.
Haren, meanwhile, snapped a two-start losing streak on Monday against Seattle, despite a so-so effort, as he allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings, upping his season mark to 14-8 to go along with a 3.20 ERA.
"I've learned that when you don't have your stuff," Haren said, "you can't call time out, push reset and move on. I had 110 pitches, and you have to make the most of what you have. I gave up all those hits but didn't walk anybody. I had guys 3-0, and they put it in play. "It's when you give up 10 hits with three walks that you're in big trouble."
Haren has faced the Yankees nine times and is 4-1 against them with a 3.97 ERA.
The Angels won in thrilling fashion on Friday, as a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis lifted them to a 2-1 win.
Los Angeles, which has won 11 of its last 13 at Angel Stadium, remained 2 1/2 games behind Texas for first place in the AL West. The Rangers won at home against Oakland Friday night.
Alberto Callaspo legged out an infield single on a grounder to the left side off Aaron Laffey (2-2) and was pinch-run for by Jeremy Moore. Vernon Wells singled to left off Luis Ayala. Brett Gardner was playing deep, giving the speedy Moore a chance to race to third. After Wells took second base, Peter Bourjos was brushed with a pitch on his jersey to load the bases. Izturis then lifted a fly ball to center and the Angels won without a play at the plate.
"I think there was more pressure on him (Ayala) than me with the bases loaded and no outs," Izturis said. "I just tried to put a good swing on it. It was a fastball right down the middle."
Jesus Montero continued his power surge with a home run, giving him three in his first six major league games, but the Yankees lost their third straight game. Despite the setback, they remained 2 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East, as Boston lost to Tampa Bay earlier Friday.
Jered Weaver was spectacular for the Angels, allowing three hits and compiling 11 strikeouts over eight innings. Jordan Walden (5-3) walked Alex Rodriguez with one out in the ninth, but pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez was caught stealing on a pitch-out, helping the Angels to their fifth victory in six games overall.
"I felt great. Jeff (Mathis) and I were on the same page all night and the defense made some great plays behind me," Weaver said. "Everybody came up big tonight. I'm glad we were able to come out on top."
The Yankees have won four of their seven meetings with the Angels this season and took two of three in Anaheim back in early June.