NEW YORK » From the very first batter, the Oakland Athletics simply looked overmatched against CC Sabathia.
Leadoff man Coco Crisp took an awkward cut at a fastball for strike three. Next, Rajai Davis got fooled by an offspeed pitch and almost fell over. Then, Kevin Kouzmanoff flailed at a slider.
A lot of weak swings and soft outs followed yesterday, as Sabathia pitched one-hit ball for eight innings to earn his major league-leading 19th win. The New York Yankees beat the A’s 5-0 for a four-game sweep.
"It’s as good as it gets," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Sabathia (19-5) breezed on a steamy afternoon, nicked only by Mark Ellis’ clean single leading off the second. Jonathan Albaladejo completed the combined one-hitter in the ninth.
"I’ve always enjoyed pitching in hot weather," Sabathia said. "Keep the sweat going, keep my arm loose."
The A’s barely touched him. After Ellis’ opposite-field stroke through the right side and a fly out later in the inning, the Athletics didn’t hit another ball to the outfield until the eighth.
"We didn’t hit a lot of balls hard against him at all," Oakland manager Bob Geren concurred.
Curtis Granderson homered twice as a fill-in for Nick Swisher, who left after one inning because of a stiff left knee. Jorge Posada homered off Dallas Braden (9-10) a day after an animated ejection, propelling the Yankees to their sixth straight victory.
New York increased its AL East lead over idle Tampa to 1 1/2 games. Oakland’s loss gave AL West-leading Texas a 10-game bulge, matching the largest edge in Rangers history.
Sabathia equaled his career high for victories and won his sixth start in a row overall. He’ll try for No. 20 next week at home vs. Baltimore.
"It’d be cool," he said, quickly adding, "We’re still trying to wrap up the division. It’s hard to think about personal accomplishments."
The big lefty struck out five, walked three and exchanged a fist bump with Eduardo Nunez after the rookie third baseman made a nice play to start the sixth.