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Yankees-Angels: A-Rod, CC Sabathia, Mash L.A., Move One Win From World Series

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IOctober 21, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 20:  C.C. Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts during the sixth inning in Game Four of the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 20, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez connected on his fifth home run of the postseason and CC Sabathia dominated the Los Angeles Angels on short rest as the Yankees won 10-1 to move one win away from a trip to the World Series. 

A-Rod tied a postseason record with his eighth consecutive game with at least one RBI, and Sabathia handcuffed the Angels through eight innings of one-run ball to take a 3-1 series lead.

The Yankees scored three runs in the fourth inning and A-Rod added a two-run blast in the fifth. 

Kendry Morales launched a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Johnny Damon went yard in the top of the eighth to give the Yankees a comfortable 7-1 cushion. 

Rodriguez put the game beyond doubt with an eighth run in the ninth inning and Melky Cabrera added a two-RBI double to give Joe Giradi's men a perfect 10. 

Scott Kazmir blanked the Yankees for the first three Innings, but he struggled with his off-speed pitches early on—especially his slider—before falling behind. 

Kazmir barely made it through the fourth inning and he got pulled by Mike Scotia before retiring a batter in the fifth. 

The righty, who exited after Teixeira broke an 0-13 duck, finished having given up three runs on six hits with four walks. 

By contrast, Sabathia cruised through the opening innings, retiring 10 at one point before giving up a home run to Morales on a fast ball up and in which the first baseman deposited to left field. 

While CC wasn't perfect, his defense helped him out in clutch situations, coming through with big plays in the fifth and six innings when the Angels threatened to rally. 

Re-energized though, Sabathia retired the side in order in the seventh inning on 12 pitches before finishing his afternoon with a one-two-three eighth. 
 
His fastball was electric and topped out at 94MPH and his change-up was devastating as struck out five on 101 pitches.

By the time he left after allowing just five hits in eight innings, the six-run lead was more than enough. 

As in the other games in the series, the Yankees looked to jump out in front early. 

The Yankees took the lead in the fourth inning when Rodriguez slid under Mathis' tag on a high throw home on Robinson Cano's ground ball to second. 

Melky Cabrera—who went 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBI—made it 3-0 with a two-RBI single to left field which scored Posada from third base and Cano from second. 

Kazmir then walked Jeter to load the bases, but the Angels caught a big break when Nick Swisher was called out at third base. 

Damon lofted a fly ball to Torii Hunter in center field and Swisher appeared to tag up and give the Yanks a four-run lead. 

But crew chief Tim McClelland said Swisher had left the bag early, even though the umpire wasn't looking at his foot and replays showed there was absolutely nothing wrong with the play. 

For a rant about tonight's umpiring, read my other article here.

A-Rod made it 5-0 in the fifth inning with his fifth postseason home run—his third in as many ALCS games—but Morales cut the lead to 5-1 with a dinger to left in the bottom of the frame. 

The switch-hitting first baseman, batting from the right side, laced a fastball up and away to left field to awaken the sleeping home fans. 

Damon finally came through with a runner in scoring position with a two-run jack in the eighth inning, and A-Rod scored from second base on a sacrifice fly and Bobby Abreu throwing error. 

Cabrera drove home Cano and Gardener with a double two batters later and Chad Gaudin retired the Angels in the ninth to close out the game. 
 
After an off day tomorrow, the series will resume at Angel Stadium on Thursday. 

The Angels will send John Lackey to the hill to save their season, while the Yanks will look to AJ Burnett to send them to the World Series.

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