Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/11/12

In a season that has seen the New York Yankees rotation struggle to find any consistency, CC Sabathia appears to have settled into a groove.

Sabathia won his fifth consecutive start Thursday, limiting the Tampa Bay Rays to two unearned runs over eight innings in a 5-3 Yankees victory. Sabathia allowed seven hits and walked one, striking out a season-high 10 batters.

"Best game he's pitched all year," manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought he was brilliant; he shouldn't have given up a run. Ground ball after ground ball after ground ball. His sinker was very good, his changeup was good, his slider was good. I thought he had everything working tonight. It was his best performance of the year."

Sabathia allowed a run in each of the first two innings, though both followed Eduardo Nunez errors. Nunez had two hits, two stolen bases and two runs before being lifted for defensive purposes in the sixth inning.

"It's tough, but it's part of the game," Sabathia said. "Nuney picked us up on the offensive end and scored a couple of runs, stole some bases. It just kind of is what it is."

Sabathia completed eight innings for the fourth straight start, and he lowered his ERA for the sixth consecutive outing. The 5-0 start matches his career best, set in 2007, when he went on to win the American League Cy Young Award.

"He's given us an opportunity every time he's went out there to pitch, and that's big especially with some of the struggles that we've had," Girardi said. "At different times, different people have kind of kept us afloat. CC seems to be the big guy right now."

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