A top-notch pitching duel brought the first half to a close in the Bronx on Sunday, as the Yankees beat the Rays 1-0, with both CC Sabathia and James Shields going the distance.
It was Sabathia’s first shutout since 2009 and second as a Yankee, and he became the first pitcher to 13 victories this season.
Shields, who has three shutouts this season, had to settle for his seventh complete game in 19 starts. He fell to 8-7 despite the strong effort.
Both pitchers allowed four hits.
Earlier in the day, Shields was removed from the All-Star roster, a consequence of him pitching today, and replaced by Sabathia, who was automatically scratched as well.
The game’s one run was unearned, and it took two pretty crazy errors to score it. Robinson Cano singled to open the bottom of the seventh. After a Jorge Posada fly to shallow center, B.J. Upton tried to double Cano off first, only to throw wildly and allow Cano to advance to third. Cano then scored on a wild pickoff attempt from Shields.
(It was actually a great move from Shields; Cano had no idea it was coming and would have been out easy if the throw hadn’t sailed over Evan Longoria’s head).
The Rays’ were denied their 50th victory for the second straight day, so they’ll enter the break 49-41. The Yankees are 53-35.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.