NEW YORK -- Nobody warms to a heat wave more than CC Sabathia.
Pitching on a 95-degree night in New York, the burly left-hander carried a shutout into the seventh inning during his sparkling return from the disabled list and the steamrolling Yankees got an early three-run homer from Andruw Jones in a 6-1 victory Tuesday over the Toronto Blue Jays.
"I love it," Sabathia said about the sweltering temperature. "My arm feels good when it's warm."
Sidelined since June 24 because of a groin strain, Sabathia (10-3) silenced a Blue Jays lineup minus Jose Bautista. The All-Star slugger was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day.
"They have a good lineup," Sabathia said, "with or without him."
Hard to tell when they face Sabathia. The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner improved to 13-3 against Toronto, including 8-0 with a 2.49 ERA in nine starts since the beginning of the 2007 season.
The good news for Bautista and the Blue Jays is that the wrist injury he sustained Monday isn't as severe as initially feared, so he hopes to be back before long.
"That's a pretty big void anytime you lose a guy like that, so we'll adjust along the way and continue to put up a good game plan," Toronto manager John Farrell said.
The first-place Yankees hardly missed a beat without Sabathia, going 12-6 while their ace was out and extending their AL East lead to a season-high nine games heading into Tuesday. He
"It was tough sitting here and watching your teammates go out and battle every day," Sabathia said. "It feels good to come back and be a part of it."
Jayson Nix had three hits in a rare start at third base and Derek Jeter dumped an RBI double inside the right-field line during a three-run seventh that gave the Yankees breathing room. Chris Stewart also had a run-scoring double in a rally that was aided by some shoddy play in the corners by Blue Jays outfielders.