PHOENIX – CC Sabathia struck out a former teammate for No. 3,000 of his career, celebrated with the rest of the New York Yankees on the field and tipped his cap to the appreciative Arizona crowd.
As the big left-hander he walked toward the batter’s box, he looked up to see Carter Sabathia waiting in the front row. The father slid his massive frame through the netting and gave his youngest son a huge hug, followed by embraces with the rest of his family.
After months of anticipation and three starts with his family in tow, Sabathia could finally celebrate a milestone only 16 other players in 143 years of major league baseball had accomplished.
“It’s been a fun time these past couple weeks, these guys following around with me,” Sabathia said Tuesday night after becoming the 17th player in major league history and third left-hander to reach 3,000 career strikeouts. “It’s a special time.”
The Yankees lost the game 3-1 to the Diamondbacks, thanks to a sterling performance by Arizona’s own ace pitcher Zack Greinke.
The night still belonged to Sabathia, the affable ace who can still dominate at 38.
Sabathia (1-1) arrived in the desert needing three strikeouts to hit 3,000 and got them all in the third inning.
The milestone whiff came when John Ryan Murphy, his former batterymate in New York, swung through a changeup, sending the Yankees spontaneously pouring out of the dugout. The crowd roared and continued cheering until Sabathia tipped his cap before hugging his kids.
“It’s disappointing to lose, but tonight’s about celebrating the man in what’s been an amazing career,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “To be a part of it was special.”
Playing his final season, Sabathia became the first pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts since Atlanta’s John Smoltz in 2008, and joined Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only lefties to do it.
Wilmer Flores hit a solo homer and a run-scoring single off Sabathia. He allowed two runs and five hits, and struck out five before being lifted with two on and one out in the sixth inning.
“I was a baseball fan tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “What he did is a pretty amazing accomplishment.”
Greinke (5-1) won his fifth straight game and stretched his scoreless innings streak to 18 before Gleyher Torres’ run-scoring double in the fourth inning.
Greinke allowed one run and five hits in 7⅔ innings. He struck out seven and has 2,481 in his career to move past Jack Morris (2,478) for 38th all-time.
“It was cool, nice facing him,” Greinke said of Sabathia. “Always like seeing what some guys have and what makes them good.”
Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances.
Brewers 4, Rockies 3
In Milwaukee, Jesus Aguilar homered again and the Brewers broke through late.
Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) pitched six scoreless innings for the Milwaukee, which has won 12 of its last 14 against Colorado, including a sweep in last season’s NL Division Series.
The Brewers again played without NL MVP Christian Yelich, who sat out with lower back soreness for the second straight game.
Dodgers 10, Giants 3
In San Francisco, David Freese hit a three-run homer and Justin Turner went deep for the first time this season, powering the Dodgers to the victory.
Astros 11, Twins 0
In Minneapolis, Gerrit Cole allowed one hit in seven innings, and Houston backed him with three homers.
Pirates 6, Rangers 4 (11)
In Arlington, Texas, Bryan Reynolds led off the 11th inning with his first career homer and Starling Marte then added a two-run shot.
Mets 4, Reds 3 (10)
In New York, Rookie Pete Alonso hit a sacrifice fly off Cincinnati closer Raisel Iglesias in the 10th inning.
Red Sox 5, Athletics 1
In Boston Rick Porcello pitched eight shutout innings and struck out a season-high eight.
Indians 7, Marlins 4
In Miami, Carlos Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer, only his second extra-base hit of the season, and Cleveland beat the Marlins.
Tigers 3, Phillies 1
In Philadelphia, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Niko Goodrum added a two-run homer.
Cardinals 3, Nationals 2
In Washington, Adam Wainwright pitched neatly into the seventh inning, helping himself by kicking the ball over to first for a key out.
Padres 4, Braves 3
Franmil Reyes homered twice and drove in three runs, Eric Hosmer also went deep and rookie Chris Paddack turned in another impressive start.
Angels 4, Blue Jays 3
In Anaheim, California, Brian Goodwin’s one-out home run in the eighth inning broke a tie and lifted the Angels to a win.
Goodwin’s fourth homer of the season stole the spotlight from the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. The 20-year-old son of Angels Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero was making his fourth start since being called up last Friday.
Cubs 6, Mariners 5
In Seattle Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer with two out in the eighth, and Chicago earned its third consecutive victory.
Orioles vs. White Sox — ppd.
Rays vs. Royals — ppd.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5