Game of the day: New York Yankees at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. CC Sabathia (13-4) hasn’t lost a start in more than a month, but the Yankees left-hander will make his second-half debut Saturday against a Toronto lineup that has pounded New York pitching the last two nights. Sabathia is 6-0 with a 1.77 ERA over his last six starts, and he did not allow an earned run in 23 2/3 innings over his final three starts of the first half. Toronto will counter with left-hander Ricky Romero (7-8), who is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two previous starts this season against New York. The Blue Jays, winners of five straight, have scored 23 total runs on 31 hits in wins against the Yankees on Thursday and Friday.
Other game to watch: Texas at Seattle, 10:10 p.m. The Mariners have gone into a free fall while the Rangers and Angels have pulled away atop the American League West, but this late-night matchup of aces should still be a good one. Left-hander C.J. Wilson (9-3) will start for Texas, looking for his sixth straight win and his third this season against Seattle. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (8-7) will pitch for the Mariners, aiming for his first win since June 29. Never one to receive much run support, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner has allowed just three earned runs over 15 innings in two July starts so far, but he received a no-decision in both games.
Games you should have seen:
Cincinnati 6, St. Louis 5. Brandon Phillips hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Reds a dramatic win over the Cardinals. St. Louis had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth inning on a two-run home run by Albert Pujols after Cincinnati scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to go ahead 4-3. Chris Heise homered twice earlier in the game for the Reds.
Kansas City 2, Minnesota 1. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run home run with two out in the top of the ninth to steal a win for Kansas City against Minnesota. The Twins had the tying run at third base with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but pinch-runner Matt Tolbert was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice. Nick Blackburn threw seven scoreless innings for the Twins before Matt Capps blew the save.
Stat you should know: 10-2. The Chicago Cubs’ record in Ryan Dempster’s last 12 starts after the veteran right-hander tossed eight scoreless innings in Chicago’s 2-1 win over Florida. Since the beginning of that stretch on May 13, Chicago is 12-34 in its 46 games started by other pitchers.
Star of the night: Pittsburgh right-hander Jeff Karstens pitched a five-hit shutout in the Pirates’ 4-0 win over Houston. Karstens struck out two and walked none, throwing just 83 pitches, to win his fifth straight decision. The win put Pittsburgh (48-43) — which has not made the playoffs since 1992 — in a virtual first-place tie with St. Louis and Milwaukee atop the National League Central.
Chatter: “I like big, tall, lanky guys,” Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel, discussing 6-foot-6 Philadelphia outfielder John Mayberry Jr. Mayberry knocked in a career-high five runs in Philadelphia’s 7-2 win over the New York Mets.