Bronx, NY – CC Sabathia returned from the disabled list in fine form on Tuesday, tossing six-plus scoreless innings in the Yankees' 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays.
Sabathia (10-3), who had been out since late June with a groin strain, gave up four hits, issued just one walk and struck out six to secure the win. He departed to a standing ovation from the home crowd after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh.
"He looked like he (did) before he got hurt," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "He did exactly what we've come to expect."
Robinson Cano extended his career-high hit streak to 20 games with a single in the second inning and Andruw Jones belted a three-run homer later in the frame for New York, which has won eight of 10 overall and will look for the sweep of this three-game series on Wednesday.
Sabathia's return was made easier by the absence of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who injured his left wrist in Monday's opener, prompting a trip to the 15-day DL.
No matter. The Yankees ace has dominated both Bautista and the Blue Jays as a whole over his career. Toronto's slugger is just 1-for-19 lifetime against Sabathia, who improved to 8-0 over his last nine starts against Toronto.
Brett Cecil (2-2) took the loss, surrendering three runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.
"It was a pretty solid outing," said Cecil. "I kept the ball down for the majority of the game."
New York took advantage of Cecil's departure, getting RBI doubles from Chris Stewart and Jeter during a three-run seventh inning.
Colby Rasmus had a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Blue Jays, who have dropped seven straight games at Yankee Stadium -- their longest road losing streak to New York since the mid-90s.
Rafael Soriano entered with the bases loaded in the ninth and picked up his 24th save of the season by inducing J.P. Arencibia into a game-ending double play.
Arencibia ripped a line drive towards first baseman Mark Teixeira, who snared the hard-hit ball and tagged Anthony Gose for the final out.
Adam Lind's leadoff single in the seventh came off of Sabathia's 87th pitch of the game, snapping the big lefty's streak of 23 consecutive regular-season starts with at least 100 pitches thrown. It was the second-longest active stretch in the major leagues behind Justin Verlander's 71 starts.
Lind advanced to third later in the frame but Boone Logan retired Kelly Johnson to end the threat. It marked the first time since the third inning that Toronto placed a runner on third base. In that instance, Rajai Davis doubled and stole a bag, but Sabathia struck out Colby Rasmus to escape.
"That's the CC we needed," said Jones. "I think that rest meant a lot for him for the end run of the season. I think it's gonna be big for us."
Cano's hit streak -- the longest active run in the majors -- was extended in the second with a leadoff single, which was followed by Nick Swisher's walk. Jones then belted a 2-1 changeup into the seats in left for a 3-0 lead.
Alex Rodriguez capped the three-run seventh with an RBI fielder's choice groundout.
Sabathia improved to 13-3 against the Blue Jays in his career. He was on the DL since June 27 with a Grade 1 groin strain...The Yankees have scored at least three runs in a single-season, franchise-record 41 straight games...The Blue Jays' seven straight losses at Yankee Stadium marks their longest road losing streak against New York since dropping eight straight from June 23, 1995-June 4, 1996...Gose was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the roster spot vacated by Bautista. He went 1-for-2 with a single.