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CC Sabathia picks up first win of season

CC Sabathia of the Yankees pitches in the

CC Sabathia of the Yankees pitches in the second inning against the Twins at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

CC Sabathia followed in line at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night.

The starters have been producing great work lately for the Yankees. Sabathia fit right in against Minnesota, giving them their fourth straight quality start in their season-high fourth straight win, an 8-3 decision that made them a season-high four games over .500 at 13-9.

The 37-year-old lefty worked a season-high six innings and allowed one unearned run and two hits, earning his first decision of the season.

“That’s going to be a big part of our team, helping the bullpen out and keeping those guys fresh,” Sabathia said of the rotation that has 1.05 ERA over the four starts. “So it’s up to us to go out and pitch deep into the games and help these guys out.”

This was his 238th win, tying him with Clark Griffith for 58th on the all-time list. It was Sabathia’s 20th win against Minnesota, the most of any active pitcher. He walked just one and struck out four to give him 2,858 for his career, passing Jim Bunning along the way for 17th on the all-time list.

So after four starts — two before his DL stay for a hip strain and two afterward — Sabathia owns a nice-looking 1.86 ERA. He’s unbeaten in his last 12 starts dating to last season, going 6-0 with a 2.60 ERA.

After some bumpy times, the reinvention of Sabathia from power pitcher to softer-tossing craftsman has worked out just fine.

“Just at this point, I just try to get outs no matter what,” Sabathia said. “My stuff is what it is right now. I have to go out and be effective with what I have.”

What would a young CC think of the CC of today?

“He would laugh, for sure,” Sabathia said. “It’s just a different feel . . . I’d just get the ball and throw it. It’s good to have a plan and be able to execute it. Gary [Sanchez has] been calling good games.

“It’s more fun [this way], for sure. I’m having a lot of fun out there.”

His new manager is enjoying the view.

“Same old stuff,” Aaron Boone said. “That cut fastball, he’s really got a great feel for it.”

Besides being a reinvented pitcher, Sabathia is a leader in the clubhouse, someone young and old can look up to in there.

“I’ve got a good relationship with him,” Gleyber Torres said after his third major-league game. “He’s a great guy. He helps me with anything that I need.”

Sabathia had everything he needed. All his pitchers were working. He put an exclamation point on the 82-pitch outing with a six-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth.

“We were very aggressive tonight,” Sanchez said. “We attacked the hitters.”

The Yankees backed Sabathia and four relievers with four homers, two by Sanchez.

“I think our offense, just the names in the lineup takes pressure off me,” Sabathia said, “because at any point, they could do what they did tonight.”

The Yankees’ starting pitchers have been extremely stingy in the last four games. Their totals:

INNINGS 25 2⁄3

HITS 12

ER 3

BB 8

K 20

ERA 1.05

WHIP 0.78

New York Sports