- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - CC Sabathia rebounded smartly from his disappointing Yankees debut, and Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher drove in three runs apiece Saturday night in New York’s 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Sabathia, signed to a $161 million, seven-year contract in the offseason, gave up only six singles in 7 2-3 scoreless innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

It was a far cry from opening day in Baltimore when the 6-foot-7 lefty lasted just 4 1-3 innings. He allowed six runs, eight hits and five walks against the Orioles, throwing two wild pitches in a 10-5 loss.

Sabathia (1-1) did not have a strikeout that day for the first time in almost four years, but he fanned Coco Crisp in the first inning Saturday. The Royals put only two runners on third base against Sabathia, who led the majors last year with 10 complete games and five shutouts.

The Royals avoided the shutout with a walk, a double and Miguel Olivo’s RBI grounder off Jose Veras in the ninth.

Kansas City, which led the majors with 56 spring training home runs, has scored only eight runs in its first five games.

Swisher, acquired in the offseason from the Chicago White Sox, had an RBI triple and a two-run homer that raised his RBI total in the last three games to nine.

Posada drove in two runs in the first inning for the second straight game and added an RBI single in the third off starter Horacio Ramirez (0-1).

Ramirez went 4 1-3 innings and was ineffective from the first inning on in his first 2009 start. He gave up eight hits and six runs, with two walks and two strikeouts.

Johnny Damon was supposed to have the night off for the Yankees but was pressed into duty when Mark Teixeira was a last-minute scratch with a sore wrist. Damon singled in the first, then Swisher walked and Posada made it 2-0 with a two-run double that got Willie Bloomquist twisted around in right field.

Swisher’s triple drove in Derek Jeter in the third, then Posada’s single put the Yankees on top 4-0.

Swisher’s homer off Ramirez added two more in the fifth before Robinson Tejeda came out of the bullpen and pitched shutout ball for 2 2-3 innings, striking out six in an impressive first appearance of 2009.

Royals third baseman Alex Gordon left after the fifth inning with tightness in his right hip.

Notes:@ The Yankees’ first inning Saturday was just like the day before, with the leadoff batter making an out, followed by a single, a walk, another out and then a two-run hit by Posada. … The Royals grounded into their first double play of the season in the second. … The Yankees were the last team in the majors to make an error. … After walking Swisher, Tejeda struck out the side in the seventh. … The Royals’ bullpen has 13 strikeouts in the last two games. … Sabathia is 15-10 lifetime against Kansas City.

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