For Kevin Youkilis, facing his old team is clearly still a sensitive subject.
When asked if it would ever feel “normal” playing against the Red Sox, the Yankees third baseman responded, “Next question.”
Youkilis, 34, spent the first eight-plus seasons of his career in Boston before being traded to the White Sox last June.
He signed a one-year contract with the Yankees in the offseason.
New York Yankees
Youkilis returned to the lineup on Friday night and went 1-for-4 with a fifth-inning RBI single in his first game action since April 27.
• The Yankees (31-23) are officially a third of the way through the season and on pace to go 93-69.
They snapped a five-game losing streak with their 4-1 victory over Boston.
“I think it was an important game after the little stretch that we’ve been in,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve struggled a little bit. And as I’ve said all teams are gonna go through it. I mean that’s the bottom line, but I thought it was an important win.”
• CC Sabathia came into Friday night’s game 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA in his previous five starts.
That’s history now.
New York Yankees
Sabathia produced one of his best outings of the season on Friday night, tying a season high with 10 strikeouts and giving up just one run over 7⅓ innings.
Pitching in hot weather for the first time this season, Sabathia’s fastball velocity reached 94 mph on occasion.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Sabathia’s fastball velocity averaged a season-high 91.4 mph. He’s averaged 90 mph or better with his fastball in eight straight starts.
Sabathia threw 27 sliders that netted nine outs -- six of them strikeouts. He allowed only one base hit with that pitch.
• The Yankees had four walks on Friday night -- four more than they had in their previous three games combined.
Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk, snapping a streak of 106 consecutive at-bats for the team without one.