Wednesday August 31, 2011 | 12:38 AM

David Ortiz was asked about the Red Sox leaving 16 men on base against the Yankees on Tuesday night.

"How many?" Ortiz said. "(Expletive). I knew we left some, but not that many. One of those days."

Not too many days when the Red Sox get 13 hits - including 10 against C.C. Sabathia - and score only twice.

"He was making his pitches," Ortiz said of Sabathia.

That seems to be what everyone was saying after the game.

"He made some really effective pitches; some really good pitches when he had to," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Got some strikeouts at important times, and we won."

Three of Sabathia's 10 strikeouts were against Adrian Gonzalez.

"Just getting ahead of him was the biggest thing," Sabathia said. "The times he got me, I was behind in the count ... Just wanted to stay with my game plan. Move the ball around the strike zone. The big key was getting ahead."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia noticed a difference in Sabathia: "I thought he challenged us more with the fastball. He kind of went after us. He didn't fall behind in too many counts. He pitched a good game."

But Saltalamacchia had his own pitcher's back. He praised John Lackey.

"As far as I 'm concerned, I thought he pitched great," Saltalamacchia said. "He went out there again and did what he does. CC just pitched a better game, and we couldn't get any run support for (Lackey).

"We got in situations where we could have scored some runs, and we couldn't do it."

And that gives Boston hope. The Red Sox were not dominated by Sabathia. They got 10 hits. Just could not get the big one this time.

"They put together good at-bats, made me throw a lot of pitches," Sabathia said. "I felt like I had good stuff, better I had the last 4-5 starts. But they have a great lineup.

"My fastball command was good tonight. They fouled off some good ones. They hit some good ones hard. But, tonight, I was able to make the pitches when I needed too."

Sabathia called Tuesday's win "just another game." But amended that to say "any time you're chasing a team, you want to win."

Asked about finally beating Boston this year, Sabathia shrugged.

"Big win against a team we're chasing," he said. "I look forward to my next start five days from now."

The other hope for the Red Sox is that, after Sabathia, there is a drop off in the Yankees rotation. For more on that thought and on Tuesday's game, see today's column.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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