Yankees Offense Stumbles In Tampa, CC Perfect In First Relief Appearance As October Nears

AL East champion New York (102-56) slipped as it tries to overtake Houston (102-54) for best record in the AL and homefield advantage throughout the AL playoffs.


Choi homered off Cory Gearrin (1-3) after Pete Fairbanks (2-3) struck out Brett Gardner with a runner on second and two outs in the top half.

Tampa Bay remained a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the second AL wild card. New York has one more game with the Rays in 2019 as Tampa Bay desperately tries to hang on to their spot in the second Wild Card — trailing Oakland by one game.

AL East champion New York (102-56) slipped as it tries to overtake Houston (102-54) for best record in the AL and homefield advantage throughout the AL playoffs.

The Yankee offense looked more like the all-or-nothing strikeout machine that failed in the playoffs last year — going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and striking out 13 times Tuesday.

Sabathia, a 39-year-old left-hander who is retiring at the end of the season, had made 560 regular season starts but is being moved to the bullpen along with J.A. Happ ahead of the postseason.

Sabathia struck out Travis d’Arnaud, induced a groundout from Choi and retired Matt Duffy on a called third strike. Sabathia’s only prior big league relief appearance was in Game 5 of the AL Division Series, when he allowed one earned run over 1 1/3 innings against Detroit.

He received a standing ovation as he walked toward the dugout after the inning from a large group of Yankees’ fans among the announced crowd of 16,699.

Cameron Maybin homered in the third off Yonny Chirinos, New York’s 299th homer this season. It made the Yankees the first team in major league history to have 14 players with 10 or more home runs in the same season.


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