In this series of great pitching and little hitting, the Yankees greatest weapon was their ace. CC Sabathia was dominant in Game 1, and he was dominant again tonight, pitching the Yankees to a series-clinching 3-1 win against the Orioles in Game 5 of the division series. Up next is the Tigers in tomorrow’s ALCS opener at Yankee Stadium. To get there, the Yankees leaned on Sabathia for all nine innings. He allowed just one hit through the first seven, and even when he allowed a run in the eighth, he ended the inning with the bases loaded. He went back out for the ninth and finished what he started, plowing through the heart of the Orioles order. The Yankees didn’t have a hit until Mark Teixeira’s leadoff single in the fifth, but Teixeira caught the Orioles off-guard with a stolen base which let him score on Raul Ibanez’s single for a 1-0 lead. Ichiro Suzuki doubled in a run in the sixth and Curtis Granderson — starting despite his struggles — homered in the seventh. A sign of just how close this series was: The Yankees two-run lead was the largest lead either team had heading into the ninth inning of any game.
Associated Press photo