Sabathia was pitching on normal rest, but his start was moved up a day after Michael Pineda was put on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day with a right flexor forearm muscle strain.
The temperature at game time in Arlington, Texas was 101 degrees, the hottest this season in the majors.
Sabathia threw 80 pitches in five innings, but was sent to Medical Center of Arlington as a precaution after he cramped up during an ice session.
He did not make the trip to Chicago for the start of New York’s three-game series against the White Sox.
Sabathia was tagged for five earned runs on nine hits, giving up all the runs on three homers, including a three-run blast by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton in the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo also went deep for Texas against Sabathia and Ryan Rua added an inside-the-park, which tied the score in the fourth inning.
Sabathia has now given up 24 home runs this season, the most in the American League.
“It looked like he would get out of the first, but then he hung a slider to Hamilton,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said to MLB.com “That was the one big hit that hurt us.”
Sabathia is 4–8 with a 5.54 ERA in 20 starts this season for New York, who still lead the AL East by six games over the Baltimore Orioles. Girardi says they will keep giving Sabathia the ball and hopes he can break out of his slump.
“Just something you have to keep working on,” Girardi said. “That's the only thing you could do. You have to keep working on it and try to get better each time he goes out. Today was strange because the lefties got him, and that's unusual, so we'll have to take a look at it.”
- Scooby Axson