CC Sabathia struck out 10, Derek Jeter drove in three runs and the Yankees won their 10th consecutive game, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Monday night.
Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano hit solo home runs as New York equaled its longest winning streak since May 2005.
The team with the AL’s best record kept rampaging in interleague play – all 10 of these triumphs have come against NL teams with winning records, including a sweep at Turner Field last week.
“I don’t think you’re ever satisfied. I think when you become satisfied you can go backwards,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Guys always feel that they can do more, and that’s the bottom line.”
“We’re finding ways,” he said. “We’re doing a good job.”
Since 1965, the Yankees have had only one winning streak of at least 11 games, doing that in 1985.
“It hasn’t all been blowouts,” Sabathia said. “It’s coming together for us.”
Michael Bourn led off the game with a triple and scored when Martin Prado followed with a groundout, ending Atlanta’s 20-inning shutout string. But the Braves’ first game at the new Yankee Stadium and first trip to the Bronx since 2006 still resulted in their seventh loss in eight tries.
After the game, it got even worse for the Braves. Manager Fredi Gonzalez revealed that Brandon Beachy, who is leading the majors with a 2.00 ERA, has a partial tear in his right elbow.
Gonzalez did not elaborate on the severity of the injury. He said the 25-year-old would see the team doctor, then visit noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
As for Atlanta’s latest loss, Gonzalez said: “We haven’t kept the lineup moving. We haven’t battled in at-bats.
Indeed, Sabathia noted that the Braves “were hacking early.”
The big lefty gave up seven hits in his 34th career complete game, and first since last July. He walked one, and fanned Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward to finish it.
Sabathia beat the Braves last Tuesday, too, and improved to 22-8 lifetime in interleague play. The workhorse had thrown exactly seven innings in his previous five starts, and topped that. He also became the latest Yankees starter to excel - the group is 12-1 in June, fueling New York’s dominant run.
“You don’t want to be the guy who messes up,” Sabathia said.
Mike Minor (3-5) took a 2-0 lead into the fifth before Alex Rodriguez opened with a sharp single for the Yankees’ first hit. Robinson Cano followed with a walk and Russell Martin lined a ground-rule double. Rodriguez scored on the hit, moving him past Mel Ott for 11th place on the career runs list with 1,860.
After another walk and foul out, Jeter came up for a club that has had trouble all season getting hits with runners in scoring position. He worked the count full, then grounded a hard single into center field that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead and brought his cheering parents to their feet in a private box.
David Ross singled with two outs in the Atlanta sixth and Bourn hit a grounder through the middle. Jeter made a dive, and the shortstop got a forceout at second.
Teixeira hit the Yankees’ major league-leading 100th home run in the sixth. Jeter added an RBI single in the seventh off Kris Medlen and Cano hit his 13th homer in the eighth.
Sabathia protected the lead, making it another missed Monday chance for the Braves - they are 0-10 on Mondays this season.