Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Jesus Montero DH
LHP CC Sabathia (18-7, 2.99)
CC vs. Blue Jays
BLUE JAYS (69-70)
Mike McCoy SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Mark Teahen LF
Jose Molina DH
J.P. Arencibia C
Dewayne Wise CF
LHP Brett Cecil (4-7, 4.51)
Cecil vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: It’s 84 and pretty humid here in the Bronx. There’s a 20 percent chance of rain, but the skies look pretty clear.
UMPIRES: HP Tom Hallion, 1B Bill Miller, 2B James Hoye, 3B Phil Cuzzi
KEEP ON ROLLIN’: After clinching the series with yesterday’s win, the Yankees have now gone 17-3-4 in series play since June 10, including a 10-1-1 mark at home.
CC APPROACHING MILESTONE: While it would take quite the performance to get it done today, Sabathia is sitting 12 strikeouts away from reaching 2,000 for his career. He will become one of only three active pitchers to have reached that total (with Tim Wakefield and Javier Vasquez).
RED HOT JONES: Since the All-Star break, Andruw Jones is hitting .328 (21-for-64). He’s playing left field today, and seems to have locked down a start every time the Yanks go up against a lefty. I haven’t heard anyone mention Marcus Thames’ name in quite some time…
UPDATE, 1:19PM: With runners on the corners and two outs, CC gets Lawrie to ground out to third. He also picked up two K’s in the inning, so maybe that milestone isn’t as out of reach as I originally thought.
UPDATE, 1:28PM: After a walk and a steal from Brett Gardner, a throwing error from SS Mike McCoy on Mark Teixeira’s grounder leads to the Yanks first run.
UPDATE, 1:32PM: More sloppy play from Toronto. 2B Kelly Johnson drops grounder from Robbie Cano, but recovers just in time to get him on the throw. Inning over. 1-0 Yanks.
UPDATE, 1:36PM: Hard hit single from Mark Teahen takes a high bounce and gets past Gardner in CF, allowing Teahen to advance to second. Single, E8. CC has been giving up a lot of hits recently. That’s the third in six batters. Already at 30 pitches and he hasn’t even recorded an out in the second inning.
UPDATE, 1:44PM: CC strikes out Dewayne Wise to end the inning with Teahen on second. Three K’s and counting for the big man…
UPDATE, 1:50PM: Very nice diving play to his left by Toronto 3B Brett Lawrie. Russell Martin smoked a liner that looked like it was going to get through, but Lawrie lunged to make the play and end the inning. Yanks go down 1-2-3.
UPDATE, 1:58PM: CC has his first 1-2-3 inning in the third. Picked up one more strikeout. We’re up to four now.
UPDATE, 2:00PM: Montero pulls a single past a diving McCoy. Major league hit No. 2 in the books.
UPDATE, 2:05PM: Captain Jeter puts one out in left field with Montero and Gardner on-base. That three-run blast makes it 4-0 Yanks. That was no cheapie, either.
UPDATE, 2:15PM: Teahen drives in a run with his second hit of the game — a double down the left field line. Hit, walk, hit and CC has given up a run with no outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. 4-1 Yanks.
UPDATE, 2:19PM: CC gives up two runs, but limits the damage by sitting down the next three batters after allowing the first three to reach safely. Ended the inning with a strikeout of Wise. Through four innings, CC has allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out five.
UPDATE, 2:25PM: Yanks go down in order in the fourth. Montero will lead off in the bottom of the fifth.
UPDATE, 2:29PM: Nice play by Cano, ranging to his left and making the stab on a hard hit ball from Johnson. At first it looked like that ball was getting through. 1-2-3 inning for CC. Up to six strikeouts.
UPDATE, 2:33PM: Montero laces a line-drive single between the SS and 3B. Looks like Girardi was onto something when he said his first hit yesterday would relax him moving forward. Now he has his first multi-hit game.
UPDATE, 2:45PM: Well, CC is rolling now. He’s retired nine straight since giving up the RBI double to Teahen. He also has at least one strikeout in every inning. He’s up to eight now through six innings. He’s thrown 91 pitches, so I’d expect to see him back out for the seventh.
UPDATE, 2:47PM: A-Rod jacks one out opposite field to make it 5-2 Yanks. On the replay, you can see him cursing himself right after he made contact. He clearly didn’t get all of that, but that’s a good sign that he can push one out to the opposite field without hitting his sweet spot.
UPDATE, 3:04PM: After retiring ten straight (including his ninth strikeout of the game against Jose Molina to begin the seventh), CC finally gave up a hit to J.P. Arencibia. He followed that by promptly sitting down the next two batters. He’s probably done with 107 pitches after throwing so many in his last outing.
UPDATE, 3:10PM: No third hit for Montero. He reaches safely, but it’s ruled an error on the third baseman Lawrie. He’s done for the day, with Eduardo Nunez coming in to pinch run.
UPDATE, 3:22PM: CC is back out for the eighth, despite his relatively high pitch count. I guessed wrong on that one, but Girardi comes out to get him after he struck out the one batter he faced. CC’s final line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 10 K, 111 pitches. He’s two K’s away from 2,000. Here comes Rafael Soriano.
UPDATE, 3:27PM: Jose Bautista promptly greets Soriano with an absolute moon shot to left. Give me your thoughts: Where do you rank Bautista among MVP candidates? His numbers are clearly the best, but it comes down to that old where does your team finish in the standings argument.
UPDATE, 3:42PM: Nick Swisher just deposited a ball in the right field seats for a two-run shot off of Jon Rauch. That one went a long way. It’s 7-3 Yanks in the eighth.
UPDATE, 3:51PM: Yankees continue to tack on runs here in the eighth. Two-out, two-run single from Jeter with the bases loaded makes it 9-3. That’s five RBI for Captain Clutch, tying a career high (fourth time he’s done it). That will save Mariano for another day. Cory Wade is in to pitch the ninth.
UPDATE, 4:01PM: Ballgame over, Yankees win. I’ll be back later with game notes. Follow me on Twitter @vzmercogliano for an update as soon as Girardi announces the rotation decision.