(Sports Network) - CC Sabathia takes another crack at reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career this evening when the New York Yankees resume their three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Sabathia has failed in his first two attempts at the milestone win, but was sensational his last time out on Monday against Tampa Bay, as he scattered two hits and struck out nine over eight scoreless innings. However, his counterpart, David Price, also tossed eight scoreless innings in a contest eventually lost by the Yankees, 1-0, in extra innings.
"That was a classic," Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland said on the team's website. "That's going to be talked about for awhile. But we expected that. We expected a low-scoring game. To think it was going to be 0-0 after eight, I don't think anybody could have predicted that."
Sabathia's first shot at 20 wins came against the O's on September 7, but they ended his six-start winning streak in that one. For his career, though, Sabathia has dominated Baltimore, going 13-2 in 19 starts with a 2.81 ERA.
New York regained sole possession of first place in the American League East on Friday, as Alex Rodriguez belted a two-out, three-run home run in the top half of the ninth inning, propelling the Yankees to a 4-3 win. Rodriguez also had a solo home run in the victory for New York, which moved a half-game in front of Tampa Bay in the division when the Rays fell to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"We want to just take care of ourselves," said Rodriguez, whose 608 career home runs leave him one short of Sammy Sosa for sixth all-time. "We know we control our own destiny. We know what we're capable of doing. We just want to get healthy and play good baseball."
The Yankees trailed by two entering the ninth before Jorge Posada hit a leadoff single against Koji Uehara (1-2), and one out later, Curtis Granderson singled. Mark Teixeira followed by popping out to third, but Rodriguez stepped in and blasted a 2-2 fastball to left field to put New York ahead.
"Unfortunate. Koji's been pitching well for us. Just didn't get it quite far enough in there, paid the price," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "But they had a lot of good at-bats to get to that situation."
Mariano Rivera threw a scoreless bottom half to nail down his 31st save of the year for New York, which improved to 2-5 on its current road trip. It was just the third win in the last 10 games for the Yanks, who have played eight one- run contests in that stretch with five ending in defeats.
Robert Andino and Adam Jones homered for the Orioles, who had won three in a row. Kevin Millwood threw seven solid innings, giving up just one run -- a solo shot by Rodriguez. He allowed five total hits, walked four and struck out six, but took the no-decision.
Tonight, the Orioles will pin their hopes on righty Jeremy Guthrie, who is 10-13 with a 3.74 ERA. Guthrie won his third straight start and for the sixth time in his last eight trips to the hill on Saturday in Detroit, as he scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out four and walked a batter.
"I went to battle with the bullets I had," said Guthrie, who is 7-3 with a 2.38 ERA over his last 10 outings. "I didn't have my greatest stuff, but we competed out there and were able to get the outs we needed to."
Guthrie lost to the Yanks the last time he faced them and is 3-8 lifetime against them with a 5.20 ERA in 14 games (13 starts).
The Yankees have won 12 of their 16 matchups with the Orioles this season, including five of the seven matchups in Baltimore. The O's though, took two of three the last time the teams squared off.