CC Sabathia flirted with perfection for 6-1/3 innings tonight at Yankee Stadium, but his bid to join Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone as the only Yankee pitchers to throw a perfect game ended when Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan lined a single to center with one out in the seventh inning. Ryan's hit came on a 2-0 fastball clocked at 94 MPH. Later in the inning, Sabathia was clocked at 97 to Miguel Olivo.
After striking out Mariners DH Mike Carp for the first out of the sixth inning -- and Sabathia’s seventh consecutive strikeout of the game -- Sabathia was forced to sit through a 30-minute rain delay as a sudden downpour swept through the Bronx.
But when the game resumed, Sabathia quickly retired two more Mariners, Greg Halman on a pop fly to first base and Chone Figgins on a groundout to short, as the Yankees took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning.
The closest the Mariners -- who have lost 16 straight games -- had come to a baserunner was when Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez bounced a throw across the diamond after snagging Franklin Gutierrez’s hot grounder, but first baseman Mark Teixeira dug out the throw to end the inning.
Sabathia (14-5) struck out the side in the seventh to extend his total to 14, a career high.
The Yankees runs were scored on a solo home run by Curtis Granderson, his 28th, in the fourth inning, an RBI single by Chavez and an infield ground out by Derek Jeter, both in the fifth.