Cleveland, OH – CC Sabathia pitched into the eighth inning in his return from the disabled list, and Nick Swisher clubbed the go-ahead two- run homer in the seventh, as the New York Yankees held on for a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Sabathia (13-3), who hadn't started since Aug. 8 due to soreness in his left elbow, was charged with four hits and a run over 7 1/3 innings. He had nine strikeouts, including one of Jason Kipnis leading off the bottom of the eighth.
"I felt pretty good. I was excited to get out there today," Sabathia said.
David Robertson then replaced Sabathia. The first-round draft pick of the Indians in 1998 exited after throwing 100 pitches, 63 for strikes.
The Indians loaded the bases in the ninth inning against Rafael Soriano, but pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan grounded out to first baseman Mark Teixeira. Soriano preserved his 32nd save of the year and sent the Indians to their ninth straight loss.
Conversely, Sabathia is 6-0 over his last nine starts and hasn't lost since June 7 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Swisher also had an RBI double in the opening inning for the Yankees, who snapped a four-game road skid. They were swept in a three-game series to the White Sox earlier this week.
The Yankees moved their lead in the AL East to 3 1/2 games over the Rays, who lost at home to the Oakland Athletics Friday night.
Sabathia retired the first 10 batters he faced until Asdrubal Cabrera homered to center field.
Prior to that, the Yankees went ahead in the first inning thanks to back-to- back doubles to right field from Derek Jeter and Swisher.
The Yankees wasted a bases-loaded chance later in the inning and again in the third when Jeter was hit by a pitch on the ear flap of his helmet. Robinson Cano grounded into a double play to end that threat.
"I don't think he wanted to throw at someone's head on purpose," Jeter said of the pitch from Corey Kluber. "Throwing up and in you have to be careful. That's a dangerous area to be throwing. Fortunately, there are no problems."
Both teams couldn't capitalize on opportunities with men in scoring position in the fifth inning, including the Indians with the bases full as Kipnis grounded out with the bases full.
Kluber gave up six hits over his five-inning start, and Cody Allen (0-1), in his 13th major league game, suffered the loss.
"I'm trying to go one pitch at a time, not worry about doing this to prevent that, and stuff like that," Kluber said. "I'm trying to execute one pitch at a time and not get ahead of myself."
Jeter legged out an infield hit to start the seventh inning and went to second on Cabrera's throwing gaffe. Swisher then smacked his 19th homer of the year, a shot to right-center field.
Sabathia, who won an AL Cy Young Award for the Indians back in 2007, is 3-1 in six starts against his former team ... The Yankees swept the Tribe in the Bronx in June ... The Indians, who have dropped 22 of their last 26 contests, went 0-for-6 with men in scoring position and stranded eight baserunners.