NEW YORK — It had been a decade since pitchers with so many combined punchouts started the same game.

In this showdown between Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees landed their haymakers early.

The Yankees pounced on Hernández, hitting three homers in the first two innings to build a comfortable cushion for Sabathia in a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

Luke Voit, Brett Gardner and Thairo Estrada homered off Hernandez while New York gave Sabathia a 7-0 lead and held on for its 12th win in 16 games. Hernandez (1-3) settled in after the second, completing five innings of seven-run ball.

Hernandez had allowed just two homers in 12 career starts in the Bronx. He allowed three in seven batters Monday.

“One of those nights when I didn’t have my best stuff,” Hernandez said.

Domingo Santana and Dee Gordon homered off Sabathia, but the oversized lefty limited Seattle to three runs over five innings. Sabathia (2-1) struck out five in his first start since becoming the 17th pitcher with 3,000 strikeouts last week.

Sabathia and Hernandez entered with a combined 5,498 strikeouts, the most between opposing starters since San Francisco’s Randy Johnson (4,867) faced Houston’s Roy Oswalt (1,418) in 2009.

Sabathia struck out Mitch Haniger on three pitches to start the game and cruised the first time through the order. He lost steam in the fifth, loading the bases with a four-pitch walk to Santana with two outs before breaking Jay Bruce’s bat on a groundout to first on his 99th pitch.

Hernández had been sharper this season than during a dismal 2018, relying more on his curveball and doing a better job throwing strikes. Manager Scott Servais said Hernández got away from that approach in the Bronx.

WHITE SOX 9, INDIANS 1: Yoan Moncada had a two-run homer and four RBI, and Chicago won at Cleveland to stop a three-game losing streak.

Trevor Bauer (4-2) matched career highs by allowing eight runs and seven earned runs in five-plus innings, and his ERA rose from 2.45 to 3.42. He had been 3-0 in his previous four starts. Chicago ended his streak of starts allowing four earned runs or fewer at 60, the second-longest in the major leagues since 1970 behind Greg Maddux’s 106 from 1991-94.

TWINS 8, BLUE JAYS 0: Martin Perez and two relievers combined on a three-hitter, Eddie Rosario hit his AL-leading 12th home run and Minnesota won at Toronto.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

REDS 12, GIANTS 4: Nick Senzel hit a leadoff homer after a swarm of bees finally left home plate, then connected again his next time up, leading Cincinnati at home.

The wild game included a record-tying four Reds getting plunked in one inning. Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval pitched the eighth and also hit a batter. The first pitch was delayed 18 minutes as bees swarmed above the backstop screen, prompting umpires and players to keep a safe distance before the bees flew away.

INTERLEAGUE

RAYS 12, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Blake Snell took a perfect game into the sixth inning and Tommy Pham hit his first career grand slam, leading Tampa Bay at St. Petersburg, Florida.


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