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Bob Sheppard's 99th Birthday Celebrated With Yankees Game

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - CC Sabathia, pitching on short rest, matched zeros with Scott Kazmir through three innings in Game 4 of the AL championship series Tuesday night as the New York Yankees tried to take a 3-1 lead over the Los Angeles Angels.

After consecutive extra-inning games that took a combined 9 hours, 31 minutes, the first three innings Tuesday were played in 63 minutes.

Six players in the Yankees' lineup came into the game with at least 24 at-bats and a lifetime average under .200 against Kazmir -- Derek Jeter (.111), Alex Rodriguez (.125), Johnny Damon (.167), Hideki Matsui (.179), Robinson Cano (.154) and switch-hitting Nick Swisher (.185).

New York, which led the majors with 915 runs during the regular season, got the leadoff man on in each of the first three innings but couldn't push anyone across. Jeter opened the game with a single, but was quickly erased as Kendry Morales took Kazmir's pickoff throw and relayed to shortstop Erick Aybar for the tag.

Kazmir opened the Yankees' second with walks to Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, who got aboard after A-Rod stole second with a huge jump against the left-hander. But Matsui and Cano both popped out to shortstop, and Swisher flied to right on a full count.

In the third, Melky Cabrera bunted his way on for his first hit in 14 at-bats in the series. Damon grounded into a fielder's choice and advanced on a two-out wild pitch to Mark Teixeira, who stranded him when Kazmir struck him out for the second time. Teixeira came in 7 for 11 lifetime against Kazmir.

The Angels, who haven't scored in the first three innings during any of the first four games of this series, got a runner in scoring position with one out in the second before Sabathia retired Morales on a fly ball and Mike Napoli on a groundout.

Sabathia was pitching on three days' rest for the first time since Oct. 2, 2008, when he gave up five runs in 3 2-3 innings for Milwaukee in a 5-2 loss at Philadelphia in Game 2 of the NL division series. Last Friday at Yankee Stadium in Game 1, the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner allowed a run and four hits over eight innings -- his longest outing in seven postseason starts.

Sabathia, who went 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA and 197 strikeouts during the regular season after signing a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees in December, didn't pitch with less than four days' rest in any of his 34 starts. In 2008 with the Brewers, the 290-pound lefty pitched on three days' rest in his last three outings before the postseason and was 2-1 with a 0.83 ERA.

Kazmir was 2-1 against the Yankees this season, both victories coming with Tampa Bay, and the loss after he was traded to the Angels on Aug. 28 for three minor leaguers. Lifetime against New York, he came in 6-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 14 starts and one relief appearance.

Kazmir got a no-decision at Boston on Oct. 11 in Game 3 of the division series. He allowed five runs over six innings before the Angels rallied with three runs in the ninth to complete the first postseason sweep in franchise history.

Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of the Yankees' Game 7 loss to Damon's Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, when New York became the first team in history to blow a 3-0 lead in a postseason series. It also marked longtime Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard's 99th birthday.

The series takes a day off Wednesday before Yankees Game 2 starter A.J. Burnett faces Game 1 loser John Lackey on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.