ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) " For all the talk about a Yankees youth movement, there were a couple of old, familiar faces who keyed New York's first victory, a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Sabathia, beginning his 17th major league season and the final year of his Yankees contract, limited the team he has faced more than any other to three singles and a pair of walks in five innings.
Chase Headley, 32, homered off Jake Odorizzi in the sixth inning and added an RBI in the eighth , making him 5 for 8 in two games.
"It feels a heck of a lot better than it did for a month and a half last year, but there's a long ways to go," said Headley. "Obviously, getting a couple hits early on, it kind of takes the pressure off."
Five relievers finished the five-hitter with Aroldis Chapman, back with the Yankees after agreeing to an $86 million, five-year contract, threw a perfect ninth.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs by New York last July, Chapman reached 100 mph on four of 14 pitches, including his last, when Daniel Robertson struck out as his bat went flying toward the third-base dugout and into the seats.
"You always want to get that first win of the season," Sabathia said. "This is a young team, a talented team, so it's just going out and playing well."
Sabathia joined Herb Pennock, Frank Tanana, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Kenny Rogers, Mike Flanagan, Lefty Grove and David Wells as the only left-handers in AL history to make at least one start in 17 different seasons.
"He gave up what we needed after losing the first game " just shut them down and gave us a chance to build a lead," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
In his 42nd start against the Rays, Sabathia gave up a first-inning single to Evan Longoria and infield hits to Tim Beckham in the fourth and Steven Souza Jr. in the fifth.
"You look at what Sabathia did; he was moving the ball and had everything working," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "There wasn't a pitch that he didn't have or a sequence that we could adjust to. He kept a lot of guys off balance."
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings