MILWAUKEE - CC Sabathia was a little wild in his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers, but still delivered as advertised in a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies last night.
Sabathia (1-0) gave up two earned runs and five hits over six innings in his first outing since being traded by Cleveland on Monday. The reigning AL Cy Young winner walked five, tying the season high he set back in April.
Now it remains to be seen whether the tight end-sized left-hander can pair with incumbent ace Ben Sheets to power the Brewers past the Chicago Cubs - who delivered a quick counterpunch to Milwaukee's trade for Sabathia by prying Rich Harden from Oakland in a trade yesterday.
Showcasing everything from a 96 mph fastball to offspeed pitches that dipped into the low 80s in front of a sellout crowd of 42,533, Sabathia kept the Rockies grounded early. He allowed only five balls to escape the infield through his first five innings: a double, two singles, and two flyouts as the Brewers took a 4-1 lead.
But Sabathia got in trouble in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs on an infield single by Matt Holliday and walks to Garrett Atkins and Ryan Spillborghs.
Yorvit Torrealba doubled down the right-field line, scoring Holliday and Atkins. Spillborghs came up limping at third with a strained left oblique and was taken out of the game for pinch-runner Scott Podsednik.
But Sabathia got out of the inning without giving up the lead. He reacted quickly to catch a line drive off the bat of Jayson Nix and threw to third to double up Podsednik. After issuing another walk, Sabathia struck out pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe on a 96 mph fastball to end the inning.
Sabathia reacted emphatically, yelling and pumping his fist as he walked off the mound. He was replaced by reliever David Riske - an old buddy from his Cleveland days - in the sixth, and the Brewers' bullpen held on for the victory as Milwaukee added three runs in the seventh.
Ryan Braun hit his 22nd homer in the first, a three-run drive deep to left off Rockies starter Mark Redman. A botched double play by the Rockies led to another Milwaukee run in the third.
Sabathia was touched for an unearned run in the fourth, after two singles and an apparent missed tag at second base loaded the bases with no outs. Sabathia got Nix to ground into a double play, but Atkins scored from third to cut Milwaukee's lead to 4-1.
Redman (2-4) gave up five hits and four runs in five innings.
Holliday extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games with an infield single in the sixth.
ARLINGTON, Texas - Vladimir Guerrero will not defend his title in the Home Run Derby during All-Star week.
The Los Angeles Angels slugger plans to spend the All-Star break next week with his family after he didn't make the team as a starter or reserve.
"If I go, I've got to get there at 6 a.m. the same day I have to hit, and then I have to go right back," Guerrero said, speaking in Spanish to a reporter before last night's game at Texas. "It's better that I take my three days off and get ready for the second half of the season."
Guerrero started the day hitting .289 with 15 homers.
Confirmed entrants in Monday's contest are Philadelphia's Chase Utley, Florida's Dan Uggla, Houston's Lance Berkman, Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, Texas' Josh Hamilton and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.
Two more players will be added to the event at Yankee Stadium, where the All-Star game is to be played the following day.