By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON It was only a matter of time before the real CC Sabathia, who went 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA in his first four starts against the Red Sox this season, showed up.
That time came Tuesday night at Fenway Park, as the Yankees beat the Sox, 5-2. Sabathia stifled the Sox, going six innings, giving up two runs on 10 hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts and a home run.
Although the Sox offense had runners on base in every inning against Sabathia, it could do very little against him. The Sox scored both runs in the fourth inning. Carl Crawfords 10th home run of the season and 1st in 70 plate appearances against Sabathia accounted for one run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Darnell McDonald followed that with consecutive singles, with Saltalamacchia scoring on Marco Scutaros double.
Sabathia threw 128 pitches (81 for strikes). He got his final batter, Adrian Gonzalez, who went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, to ground out to short to end the sixth. Sabathias last pitch registered 96 mph.
They worked CC hard, made him throw a lot of pitches, said manager Terry Francona. But when he needed to, he made pitches. We stranded, certainly, a ton of runners. We had our chances. And weve done a really good job of making him work for everything he gets. But tonight, his stuff was tremendous tonight. His fastball had some life to it. The changeup, breaking ball, as a hitter, you almost have to pick a pitch, because he can command everything. He can come in a hard and go away soft. and when he needed to he was able to do it.
As a team, the Sox left 16 runners on base, while hitting just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Saltalamacchia left seven runners on base, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Gonzalez each left five.
I went in with a game plan to see some pitches and right off the bat took a fastball way, Gonzalez said. It was off the plate away. It was called and put me more in a swinging mentality. So I chased a lot of pitches out of the zone after that. I feel that Ed Rapuano is a great umpire but tonight he was calling pitches off the plate away to lefties and it made it a lot tougher.
We didnt play a great game overall, defensively, offensively, on the bases. It just wasnt our best game. Maybe the two days off showed a little rust but hopefully well come back tomorrow and win.
Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
He was great tonight, Pedroia said of Sabathia. Geez, he was locating his stuff. Hes got great stuff. He struck me out I think on a changeup and a slider. His stuff was late. He did a great job. We tried our best to wear him down but he kept making pitches. So you tip your hat, come out tomorrow and try to win tomorrow.
For Pedroia, there was not much difference in Sabathia Tuesday night and in his previous starts. The difference was in the Sox bats.
Hes always looked like that, Pedroia said. We just, the times we got guys on base in the previous games, we got that big hit. Tonight we didnt do that.
The Sox had their chances against Sabathia. They left the bases loaded in second, and runners at second and third in fourth and fifth. Knowing the opportunities were there makes it all the more frustrating.
Yeah, for sure, Pedroia said. We battled. I think he had like 120-something pitches. So, we definitely gave him a fight.
This time, though, Sabathia earned the win.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.