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CC Sabathia turns in strong effort as Yankees snap five-game losing streak


After the Yankees lost five in a row — including four at the hands of the crosstown Mets — they turned to ace CC Sabathia last night to stop the bleeding. He was up to the task.

Sabathia allowed just one run over 7 1/3 innings and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-1 at Yankee Stadium. The big left-hander scattered six hits and didn’t walk a batter in the victory. The only run scored on an RBI double by Mike Napoli in the seventh inning.

The Yankees’ offense against Jon Lester was supplied by RBI singles from Jayson Nix, Ichiro Suzuki, the returning Kevin Youkilis, and Brett Gardner. And after going three games without a walk against the Mets, they drew four of them last night. Mark Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk in his season debut.

It was an encouraging performance from Sabathia, who was knocked around for a season-high seven runs last time out. While much has been made about his velocity, he threw harder last night than he had all season, topping out at just over 94 mph on his fastball.

(Hat-tip to the excellent Brooks Baseball for the velocity data)

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.