New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia put solidarity over salary Thursday as he was ejected in the sixth inning of a 12-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida.
Sabathia was tossed with one out in the sixth after he hit Rays catcher Jesus Sucre in the thigh with a pitch -- apparent retaliation after Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge fired a fastball behind the head of the Yankees' Austin Romine in the top of the sixth.
Sabathia's premature departure in his last scheduled start of the regular season came as he was two innings away from completing 155 innings for the season and collecting a $500,000 incentive bonus payment.
"I don't really make decisions based on money, I guess," Sabathia said. "Just go (with) you know, the right thing to do."
Kittredge's effort appeared to be a reaction to Sabathia hitting Jake Bauers in the hand in the previous inning, and it prompted a warning to both teams from officials that set the stage for Sabathia's ejection.
Sabathia mouthed and pointed toward the Rays' dugout as he left the field.
"I think we all took exception to that," Sabathia said of Kittredge's pitch near Romine's head. "I think any time your player's safety is in jeopardy, I think all guys take exception to that. We all did."
Sabathia allowed one hit over five innings, striking out five. Theoretically he could still grab the bonus if Yankees manager Aaron Boone uses him for two innings in relief in New York's upcoming series against the Red Sox in Boston.
Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit homered for the Yankees and Giancarlo Stanton went deep twice as New York took their tally to 260 home runs with three games remaining.
The 1997 Mariners hold the record with 264 homers in a season, but Stanton said the Yankees head to Boston more concerned with securing home field advantage over the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game.
They need one win -- or one loss by the Athletics -- to do so.
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