Sabathia, Stewart paired together again

Chris Stewart will again be behind the plate with CC Sabathia on the mound Thursday night.

It's the fifth consecutive time that the Yankees' ace has been paired with the team's backup catcher -- but manager Joe Girardi insists that Stewart is not Sabathia's "personal catcher."

"It’s just worked out (that way)," Girardi said before Thursday's game against the Rays. "A lot of the starts that I’ve chose to play Chris have been with CC, and have been against left-handers, because if you look at Chris’ track record, the success has been more against left-handers."

Lefty David Price starts for Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Still, there's no denying that the Sabathia-Stewart combination has been a very successful one. Sabathia has own each of his past four starts, going at least 7 1/3 innings each time, including eight innings in each of the past three outings.

In his first two starts of the season, Sabathia went six innings each time, giving up a combined nine runs.

"Russell (Wilson) is our No. 1 catcher," Girardi said. "If the playoffs were today, I’d probably send Russell in there with CC. ... I believe Russell’s gonna do a good job with him as well."