CC Sabathia earns win No. 13 with 1-0 shutout of Rays

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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.

José Altuve records hit in 10 consecutive plate appearances

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Astros second baseman José Altuve recorded a hit in 10 consecutive plate appearances between Friday and Sunday against the Indians. If the Astros were still in the National League, that would tie a league record, but the AL and overall record is 12 consecutive hits, which was accomplished by the Tigers’ Walt Dropo on July 14 and 15 in 1952. Altuve’s 10 consecutive hits did set a new Astros record, however. The previous club record was eight, set by Altuve last season.

In his third plate appearance on Friday, Altuve grounded out to shortstop. Here were his next 10 trips to the dish:

  1. Two-run double
  2. Double
  3. Infield single
  4. Two-run home run
  5. Single
  6. Triple
  7. Single
  8. Infield single
  9. RBI double
  10. RBI single

This was hit No. 10:

In his final at-bat in the top of the ninth on Sunday, Altuve lined out to center field to end his streak. Teammate Josh Reddick, currently on the disabled list, was impressed with the streak:

After Sunday’s performance, Altuve is hitting .332/.378/.459 with three home runs, 28 RBI, and 31 runs scored in 239 plate appearances this season. His OPS was .760 after Thursday’s game and is now .837.