Sabathia wasn't especially sharp Wednesday night - and he didn't have to be. With several struggling players leading the way, the Yankees tallied a season-high 15 hits and cruised to an 8-3 victory.
Sabathia (3-1) allowed three runs, 11 hits and two walks in 7 2-3 innings. In 15 career appearances against Baltimore, the left-hander is 10-1 with a 2.62 ERA.
He wasn't particularly masterful in this one, yet it hardly mattered after New York scored twice in the first inning against Jeremy Guthrie (0-3) and tacked on three more runs in the second.
``You wouldn't want to draw it up getting behind 5-0 to Sabathia,'' Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. ``That's a tough hill to climb.''
It might as well have been Mount Everest.
Robinson Cano homered in the third to make it 6-0, and New York eventually led 8-1 before coasting to the finish.
Sabathia was grateful for the offensive support on a night when he was anything but overpowering.
``It's always good to get a lead early. It takes some of the pressure off,'' he said. ``I wanted to pitch better, but a win is a win. The guys got me a lot of runs tonight.''
Sabathia had pitched 54 innings at Camden Yards without allowing a home run before Nick Markakis connected in the seventh. He was pulled in the eighth after allowing a walk and a single.
``CC battled through it,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ``He didn't have his best stuff. Even though he was struggling with his control, he was finding ways to throw strikes.
``I know he likes to finish what he started, but CC is important to us,'' Girardi added. ``He threw 97 pitches and 73 pitches his last two starts, and 111 tonight. We have to be careful how we handle him.''
Miguel Tejada had two hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who fell to 1-7 at home. Baltimore's first winning streak of the season - a modest two games - ended.
Guthrie allowed seven runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings.
``Let me start by saying I'm embarrassed by the way the game started, I was embarrassed by the way the game finished,'' Guthrie said. ``I'm embarrassed that we had to run the bullpen out there for 4 1-3 innings because I was unable to keep the pitch count down and get people out. I'm apologetic to fans who pay to come and watch the Orioles and watch us lose, in this case, because of me. I'm apologetic to my teammates for the inability to help them win a game in five starts.''
Three slumping hitters teamed in the first inning to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. After Derek Jeter ended a 2-for-16 slide with a leadoff double, Nick Johnson (1 for 14) singled to left. The ball got past Lou Montanez , allowing Jeter to score and Johnson to take second. After a groundout, Alex Rodriguez (1 for 17) hit a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom half, Sabathia struck out Matt Wieters with runners at the corners and two outs.
New York made it 5-0 in the second. Jorge Posada was struck in the right knee by a pitch, Curtis Granderson snapped a 0-for-17 skid with a single and both scored on a triple by Nick Swisher . One out later, Jeter delivered a run-scoring fly to right.
Posada was replaced behind the plate in the bottom of the inning by Francisco Cervelli . Posada left with a bruised right knee, an injury that was not perceived to be serious.
``No x-rays. The knee's fine,'' he said. ``We'll have to wait until I get here (Thursday) to see how it feels.''
Guthrie said, ``I'm apologetic to Jorge if he is to miss any time for (me) yanking a pitch and hitting him.''
Cano hit his sixth home run in the third for a 6-0 lead. In the Baltimore half, Tejada drove in a run with a groundout.
Cervelli singled in a run in the fifth and Jeter made it 8-1 with an RBI single in the sixth. In the Baltimore sixth, Tejada doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nolan Reimold .
NOTES: Jeter's double tied Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees' career list (442). ... Cano has 15 lifetime homers against Baltimore, tied with Boston for the most against any team. ... Markakis, who came in 2 for 17 lifetime against Sabathia, went 3 for 4 against the lefty. ... Mark Teixeira went 1 for 5 and is batting .133.