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.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.