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The beat goes on for Sabathia; Yankees' ace gets 16th win of season

CHICAGO -- CC Sabathia has been on a roll for 2 1/2 months now, racking up the innings and strikeouts while piling up the wins for the New York Yankees.

The big left-hander gave up 10 hits Monday night, matching a season high, and it may have been one of his most impressive performances to date.

Sabathia pitched eight strong innings to earn his major league-best 16th win and the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox, 3-2, on Monday for their fourth consecutive victory.

"I thought he had to gut it up because his stuff wasn't as sharp as we've seen it in the past," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's a true ace."

Sabathia managed to wiggle out of trouble all night as the White Sox struggled to score without injured slugger Paul Konerko. They put the tying run in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh and came away with nothing each time.

"When a guy gets into scoring position off of CC Sabathia, he pumps it up," said Gordon Beckham, who finished with two hits for Chicago. "He was hitting 98 in the seventh or eighth inning. It's frustrating, yeah, but we battled against him and we just came up short."

Sabathia (16-5) improved to 9-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last 10 starts, burnishing his credentials for a second AL Cy Young Award. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his last 21 outings.

"I had to battle a little bit and just try to make pitches," he said. "They put some good at-bats together on me, hit some balls hard and me and Cervy (catcher Francisco Cervelli) were able to get out of some tough situations."

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 32 chances and second in as many days.

Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost three straight games. Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski also had two hits apiece.

White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (4-5) settled down after a rough start and pitched seven effective innings. The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner gave up three runs and eight hits, but still dropped his fourth consecutive decision.

"Tonight I tried to pace myself and I felt a little bit better going deeper in the ballgame," Peavy said. "That's a great sign for me and I'm excited by it."

Both teams were without their captains for the opener of the four-game series. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter rested with a bruised right middle finger and is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday, but Konerko could miss the next couple of days with a bruised left calf.

Both All-Stars were injured when they were hit by a pitch on Sunday.

"I can't bear any weight," Konerko said. "That's probably the main thing. Just very weak. That's very normal where I got hit. Just keep working at it."

The inconsistent White Sox trail AL Central-leading Detroit by 4 1/2 games, and could lose more ground if they are without their best player for a prolonged stretch. Konerko leads Chicago regulars with a .305 batting average, 25 homers and 76 RBIs.

Girardi said 3B Alex Rodriguez (right knee surgery) is expected to resume baseball activities on Thursday in Florida.

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