C.C. Sabathia has relished being the ace of the Cleveland Indians this season.
Sabathia improved to 4-0 in five starts since May 16, while the Indians increased baseball's best home record to 20-6 with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
He allowed just five singles, and said he wasn't worried about trying to hold a one-run lead in the late innings. His focus was on the big picture - getting Cleveland back to postseason play for the first time since he was a rookie in 2001.
``I know I need to be 'The Guy' if we're going to the playoffs,'' he said. ``In a game like this, I don't think about making a mistake. I think about continuing what's going right.''
Sabathia (9-1) had no walks for the second time this season. He has walked only eight in his last 70 innings and not more than one in any of his last 10 starts dating to April 20.
``That's why he's our No. 1,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said. ``C.C. was in control right through the ninth inning, using all his pitches.''
Sabathia pitched his first shutout since a three-hitter against Baltimore last July 7. A year ago, he led baseball with six complete games and tied for second in the AL with two shutouts.
``He threw 111 pitches and only a half dozen were in the middle of the plate,'' the Royals' Mike Sweeney said. ``The rest were on the corners. He showed tonight he's one of the best pitchers in baseball.''
In other AL games Tuesday, it was: Toronto 12, Tampa Bay 11; New York 7, Chicago 3; Texas 7, Detroit 4; Oakland 2, Boston 0; Seattle 5, Baltimore 4; and Los Angeles 5, Minnesota 1.
Sabathia got his fifth career shutout and handed the Royals their 10th loss in 12 games.
``Us winning means more to me than me winning, it really does,'' said Sabathia, who joined John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels as the majors' only nine-game winners.
Franklin Gutierrez led off the third with his first homer of the season off Jorge De La Rosa (4-6) for the game's only run. The Royals' lefty allowed five hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out a career-high seven and walking two.
De La Rosa lost his third straight start. He had given up 14 runs over 9 1-3 innings in back-to-back defeats, to the Indians on May 24 and Baltimore five days later.
``C.C. was great; De La Rosa was great,'' Royals manager Buddy Bell said. ``The only bad pitch he threw, Gutierrez hit it out.''
Blue Jays 12, Devil Rays 11
Matt Stairs scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk, capping host Toronto's six-run ninth inning.
With Tampa Bay leading 11-6, Chad Orvella walked Aaron Hill to lead off the ninth, then gave up consecutive RBI doubles to Adam Lind and Jason Phillips. Shawn Camp came in and walked Howie Clark. After a groundout, Vernon Wells hit a two-run double that made it 11-10.
Stairs tied the game with an RBI double off Casey Fossum (3-6) before Tim Corcoran intentionally walked Frank Thomas. After a passed ball allowed both runners to advance, Troy Glaus was intentionally walked. Hill walked on five pitches, forcing Stairs home and giving the Blue Jays their third straight victory.
Josh Towers (2-3) got the win.
Yankees 7, White Sox 3
Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs to lead visiting New York.
The Yankees broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the sixth, making a winner of rookie Tyler Clippard (3-1). He pitched five innings, allowing one run and five hits. Mariano Rivera got the last two outs for his sixth save.
New York had a season-high 17 hits off Mark Buehrle (2-3) and three relievers.
Rangers 7, Tigers 4
At Arlington, Texas, Victor Diaz hit a grand slam in the first inning off Detroit starter Nate Robertson, who didn't retire a batter.
The slam came right after an RBI single by Sammy Sosa. Marlon Byrd followed with a triple and Robertson (4-6) was done after six batters, 30 pitches and no outs.
Michael Young went 4-for-4 for Texas. Willie Eyre (2-2), the second Rangers pitcher, threw two shutout innings. Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.
Athletics 2, Red Sox 0
Lenny DiNardo held his former teammates to two hits over six innings and outpitched Daisuke Matsuzaka as Oakland handed visiting Boston its fifth loss in six games.
Eric Chavez homered in his second straight game and Nick Swisher added a run-scoring double in the fifth for the A's, who won their fourth straight.
Matsuzaka (7-4) was solid in his second straight defeat, yielding seven hits and two walks while striking out eight.
DiNardo (2-2) and four relievers combined on a three-hitter.
Mariners 5, Orioles 4
One night after rallying for four runs in the eighth inning against Baltimore's bullpen, Seattle Mariners scored four times in the seventh to beat the visiting Orioles.
Ichiro Suzuki's two-out double just inside the left-field line scored Ben Broussard with the go-ahead run.
Jason Davis (1-0) retired Miguel Tejada for the final out of the seventh to get his first win with Seattle and first victory since July 25, 2006, while with Cleveland. J.J. Putz worked the ninth for his 15th save.
Angels 5, Twins 1
Kelvim Escobar pitched a three-hitter for his second complete game of the season and Casey Kotchman homered for host Los Angeles in its fifth straight victory.
The AL West-leading Angels (38-22) are off to the best start in franchise history and are a major league-best 24-8 at home. They have won 16 of their last 20 overall and are 16 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Escobar (7-3) won for the sixth time in eight starts, striking out four and walking three.
Scott Baker (1-1) was charged with five runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He is 0-3 with a 6.64 ERA in four career starts against the Angels.

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