Sunday, May 20, 2012

Home run ball hurts CC

Yanks drop finale to Reds
By Rich Mancuso
CC Sabathia is finding out that when his team is struggling to score runs he has to pitch effectively and keep the ball in the yard. The Cincinnati Reds used the long ball twice and the New York Yankees struggled again at the plate as they took the final game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon in the Bronx, 5-2. 
It was the Yankees fifth loss in six games. And for the Reds, who got eight good innings from winner Johnny Cueto (5-1) ending six days in New York where they split two games with the Mets and taking two of three from the Yankees.
“I didn’t make the pitches I wanted to,” said Sabathia (5-2) who did not give up a hit until the fifth inning when Todd Frazier hit a ground ball single.
The Yankees broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning and got two runs off Cueto on a home run to the second deck in right off the bat of Raul Ibanez. It was his ninth of the year, a 2-0 pitch that scored Robinson Cano who led off the inning with a double.
Cano has now hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games with eight doubles.
Sabathia, (5-1) coming of his first loss of the season at Baltimore last week enabled the Reds to come right back in their half of the seventh. He has now lost two games in a row since becoming a Yankee prior to the 2009 season.
Two solo home runs in the seventh, from Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Hanigan and a bases loaded walk put Cincinnati on top 3-2. It was one of three walks in a row by Sabathia, the third time that has occurred in his 12-year career.
“Up 2-0 was good enough to win a ballgame,” said Sabathia who claimed he was over throwing the ball and may have not had his best stuff.
Regardless, New York once again failed to score runs and have six hits in their last 59 at bats with runners in scoring position.
“We are having a hard time scoring runs,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi stopping short of expressing deep concern. Alex Rodriguez went hitless in four at bats, Mark Teixeira sat out of the lineup again with a persistent cough and pinch hit In the ninth reaching on a throwing error off third baseman Wilson Valdez.
Derek Jeter (0-for-5) had his eight-game hitting streak stopped.
Cueto was sharp and kept the Yankees off the bases. “This is a hitters park and they’re a real hitting team so I as happy the way it ended up,” he said.
Reds manager Dusty Baker mixed and matched after Cueto was lifted and Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban who can throw a fastball over 100, earned his first save opportunity.
New York begins a three-game series at Yankee Stadium Monday evening against the Kansas City Royals. Hiroki Kuroda (3-5) takes the mound for the first game, followed by (3-5) Phil Hughes on Tuesday night and (1-1) Andy Pettitte closes the series Wednesday night.
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