10/21/09 12:13 AM ET
Yankees Short Hops: Game 4
Sabathia, A-Rod have Yanks close to World Series trip
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and CC Sabathia was dominant over eight innings to give the Yankees a 3-1 series lead.
The Angels had a chance to rally from a 5-1 deficit when they got their first two men on in the sixth, but Sabathia induced a double-play grounder to short off the bat of Juan Rivera to defuse the threat. Sabathia did not allow another hit on the night. Big number
8: With his two-run homer in the fifth inning, Rodriguez has now driven in a run in eight consecutive playoff games. That's tied for a Major League record with Lou Gehrig and Ryan Howard, whose streak is also active. Game balls
Rodriguez singled and scored the Yankees' first run in the fourth before adding his fifth home run of the postseason an inning later -- a two-run shot off Jason Bulger that pushed New York's lead to 5-0. Rodriguez finished the night 3-for-4 with a walk, single, double, homer, three runs scored and two RBIs.
Pitching on three days' rest posed no problem for Sabathia, who continued his sparkling postseason with eight terrific innings. Sabathia surrendered only a Kendry Morales home run to move to 3-0 in the playoffs. Sabathia's ERA this postseason is now 1.13.
Cabrera came through with one of the night's biggest hits, a two-run single in the fourth that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. He added a two-run double in the ninth to close New York's scoring. Cabrera entered the game with two career RBIs in the postseason before driving in four runs in Game 4.
Sense of October
After a back-to-back extra-inning games, Sabathia made sure the Yankees didn't need to dip into a fatigued bullpen, lasting eight innings for the second time in the series.
3 AB, 2B, 1 R, 1 SB, 2 BB
Comment: Posada reached base in his first three plate appearances, with two walks sandwiched around a key double in the fourth inning. The catcher even recorded his first postseason stolen base since Game 1 of the 2003 World Series.
8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K's
Comment: Sabathia looked just as good on three days' rest as he had in his previous two starts this postseason, limiting the Angels to one run in eight innings. Sabathia seemed to get stronger in the later innings, retiring the final eight batters he faced.
"He was the story in the two games, Game 1 and this game. CC is the story. He pitched a terrific game for them." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia
The Yankees can close the series out and advance to their first World Series since 2003 with A.J. Burnett on the mound in Game 5 on Thursday night at 7:57 p.m ET in Los Angeles.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.