CC Sabathia dispatches Indians in return from disabled list

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CC Sabathia never thought his elbow issue was of major concern, and he dealt a blow to anyone who doubted him by holding the Indians to one run in 7 1/3 innings and striking out nine in a victory Friday night.

Sabathia allowed just four hits in improving to 13-3 on the season. An Asdrubal Cabrera home run to center was the only damage.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bombers.

The most notable event from the game came when Corey Kluber beaned Derek Jeter in the second inning, knocking the shortstop’s helmet off (video here). Uncharacteristically, Jeter yelled at Kluber after the pitch, but he took his base and remained in the game. He finished with two hits.

Sabathia has won his last six decisions dating back to June 12. He’s now 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in six career starts against his original organization.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.