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Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:29 AM EDT

This has not been the smoothest of seasons for C.C. Sabathia. He’s still coming through when it matters for the N.Y Yankees.

Sabathia struck out 10 batters over 8 innings for New York to help the Yankees stretch their American League East lead straight to 2 games over Baltimore by thrashing the Twins 8-2.

Sabathia (14-6) threw 89 of his 118 pitches for strikes, including 3 straight to Twins All-Star Joe Mauer for the 2nd of his 3 strikeouts in the 4th inning. Mauer, who started the day 3 points in the batting race behind Detroit’s Triple Crown chaser Miguel Cabrera with a .326 average, went 0 for 4. Baseball betting lines

Sabathia spent 2 stints on the DL this summer, for a strained left groin and an inflamed left elbow. This was his 1st win in 6 starts, and he credited excellent command of his fastball to line up his other pitches.

Robinson Cano hit a 2-run double and Curtis Granderson added a 2-run triple during a 6-run 3rd inning against Brian Duensing (4-11), and Sabathia took care of the rest. The burly lefty gave up 6 hits, 2 runs and one walk.

Sabathia improved to 10-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last 11 appearances against the Minnesota Twins, including the 2009 and 2010 postseason. He threw 8 scoreless innings in his last start against Oakland Athletics, striking out 11, but didn’t get the victory because the N.Y Yankees won in the 10th. Matt Carson and Pedro Florimon had RBI singles, but that was about the sole solid contact Sabathia allowed.

Chris Dickerson also hit a 2-run homer for the New York Yankees, who lost to the Twins and played without 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has a bruised left foot. Derek Jeter’s 19-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-4 afternoon, but he walked and scored in the 3rd.

The New York Yankees enjoyed a tension-free afternoon while winning for the 12th time in their last 16 games. Even the bad plays turned out all right.

Granderson was picked off first base in the 2nd inning, but he scored on a wild pitch in the 3rd.

Eric Chavez, thinking there were 2 outs rather than one in the 5th inning, casually fielded a grounder at 3rd and stepped on the base for the force as he jogged toward the dugout before stopping and realizing his mistake. Sabathia roared assurance to Chavez, who’s embarrassed ”oops” expression, was frozen on the jumbo video screen above left-center field to the crowd’s amusement.

But after a passed ball by Chris Stewart put runners at 2nd and 3rd and threatened to exploit Chavez’s blunder, Sabathia calmly retired Denard Span on a groundout to 1st to keep the lead at 6-1. If Chavez had tried to turn the double play, he might’ve only got one out anyway, Girardi said, which would’ve led straight to a run on the passed ball.

After a leadoff double by Raul Ibanez in the 6th, Dickerson circled the bases with his drive off Anthony Swarzak, who was the 2nd long reliever called on by the Minnesota Twins .

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