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CC's gem sends Yankees to 9th straight win

MLB.com @BryanHoch

ANAHEIM -- CC Sabathia's velocity may have diminished from his fireballing days, but as he enjoys a late-career renaissance, his intensity has not. Meanwhile, the rest of his Yankees teammates may only be warming up.

Sabathia hurled seven sparkling innings, one of which saw the hurler directed off the field while barking at home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, and Gary Sanchez hit a mammoth homer as the Yankees registered their ninth straight victory, a 2-1 decision over the Angels on Sunday evening at Angel Stadium.

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ANAHEIM -- CC Sabathia's velocity may have diminished from his fireballing days, but as he enjoys a late-career renaissance, his intensity has not. Meanwhile, the rest of his Yankees teammates may only be warming up.

Sabathia hurled seven sparkling innings, one of which saw the hurler directed off the field while barking at home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, and Gary Sanchez hit a mammoth homer as the Yankees registered their ninth straight victory, a 2-1 decision over the Angels on Sunday evening at Angel Stadium.

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"We just need to keep winning games," Sabathia said. "This is a really good team. We've got some good players in here. It's just up to us to go out and execute, play good defense. These guys are going to hit. It's up to us to keep pitching and help the bullpen out."

The veteran left-hander's newfound penchant for generating soft contact served him well against the Halos' lineup, which managed one run on five hits against Sabathia as he reduced his ERA to 1.71. It is the only earned run that Sabathia has permitted in 17 1/3 innings since returning from the disabled list on April 19.

"Everything was working for him tonight," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "All of his pitches were sharp; the slider, the cutter, the changeup got better as the game went on. He was very good tonight."

Securing the Yankees' first nine-game winning streak since June 8-18, 2012, Sanchez opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a two-run blast to left field off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, clearing the bullpens with a drive that was calculated by Statcast™ to have traveled 447 feet.

"I hit it well," said Sanchez, whose last eight hits have all gone for extra bases. "I felt like there was good velocity there off the bat. I thought it had a chance."

Sanchez launches 7th HR in Yanks' win

Video: NYY@LAA: Statcast™ tracks Sanchez's 2-run homer

Yankees manager Aaron Boone had to intercede after the third inning, when Sabathia induced a groundout to leave two men on, then exchanged words with Hernandez concerning the strike zone. Sabathia said he didn't remember what was said, offering only, "I thought I was throwing strikes."

"I was out there just to make sure it didn't escalate to anything," Boone said. "I didn't think it was a big deal."

Sabathia kept the Angels off the board until the sixth, when Justin Upton reached on a one-out single to first baseman Neil Walker, as the hurler's balky knees prevented him from covering the bag. Albert Pujols' 2,996th career hit, a broken-bat single, moved Upton to third base before he scored on a wild pitch.

Video: NYY@LAA: Upton scurries home on a wild pitch

In the seventh, Sabathia got Rene Rivera to chop a would-be inning-ending grounder to shortstop Didi Gregorius, who slipped on what was scored an infield hit. Sabathia recovered, getting Ian Kinsler to fly out to right field.

"You just go out and keep making pitches," Sabathia said. "All that stuff doesn't matter. You've got to keep making pitches, one at a time, and try to give these guys more opportunities to make a play for you."

Aroldis Chapman worked a scoreless ninth inning for his sixth save, completing the Yankees' first road sweep of the Angels since July 29-31, 2003. New York acquired Boone, a third baseman and future postseason hero, from the Reds on the date of the final game of that series. The Angels have lost nine of 12 games since beginning the year 13-3.

Video: NYY@LAA: Chapman closes the door, fans Kinsler

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Had it all the way: Pujols put a scare into the Yankees in the eighth inning, barreling a Chad Green fastball and driving it to left field for what momentarily appeared as though it could be a go-ahead, two-run homer. The ball came off Pujols' bat at 107.4 mph and had a hit probability of 84 percent. Brett Gardner tracked the rocket, falling down as he made the catch. After an Andrelton Simmons single, Green struck out Zack Cozart to end the threat.

"[I was thinking], 'Please don't go over the fence,'" Green said. "I knew he got it well. I didn't think he got under it enough to hit it out, but I thought Gardy made a great play. I was just lucky that ball didn't get over his head. … The way we're winning is fun. The starting pitching has been fantastic for the last week and a half, and the offense has really carried us. It goes quick when you're winning, and that's good right now."

Video: NYY@LAA: Gardner slips, still makes the catch

HE SAID IT
"We can all click even more. We're getting the timely hitting, the things we need to win ballgames. And if it stays hot like that, where it's a different guy every night contributing, then we'll be tough, tough to beat." -- Giancarlo Stanton

Video: NYY@LAA: Boone on Sabathia's start, Stanton's at-bats

UP NEXT
The Yankees open a four-game rematch of last year's American League Championship Series on Monday at 8:10 p.m. ET, visiting the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Sonny Gray makes the start for New York. He faced Houston in Game 4 of the ALCS, allowing two runs (one earned) over five innings of one-hit ball. Charlie Morton starts for the reigning World Series champs.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia, Gary Sanchez