Sabathia hammered in Yankees loss

March 11, 2009 3:13:59 PM PDT
CC Sabathia allowed too many hits. Justin Verlander walked too many batters. Despite struggling in the Detroit Tigers' 7-4 win over the New York Yankees on Wednesday, both pitchers were not overly concerned.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty sound," Sabathia said. "But they put the bat on the ball. It kind of snowballed."

All five runs off him came in the second, when Gary Sheffield hit the first of his two home runs.

"That was a big inning," Sabathia said. "I couldn't get out of the second inning. I'll get out and continue to keep working. I need to command both halves of the plate better."

He allowed five runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings and took the loss.

"He never seemed to find his rhythm today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Verlander, the winner, gave up four runs - two earned - three hits and four walks in two innings. In the second, he walked three straight hitters.

"Obviously, I was erratic, but I wasn't missing by much," Verlander said. "The ball was jumping out of my hand better than it has in a long time."

Verlander said that while watching video of himself recently, he noticed his front foot was too stiff. He tried to keep his knee bent Wednesday when finishing his delivery.

"I'm not worried about him," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The 40-year-old Sheffield, who needs one regular-season home run to reach 500, was 1-for-16 this spring training. He also homered in the fourth off Alfredo Aceves.

Notes: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who had surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder on Oct. 7, threw batting practice for the first time this spring training Wednesday in Tampa. The 39-year-old RHP is scheduled for another BP session Saturday and could pitch in a game early next week. ... Yankees C Jorge Posada, recovering from right shoulder surgery on July 30, is expected to play behind the plate for the first time Sunday. ... Tigers OF Marcus Thames likely will miss a week with a strained abdomen. ... The announced attendance of 9,680 was the second largest ever at Joker Marchant Stadium.