Bartolo Colon looked like the ace of old, shutting down the Chicago White Sox over eight crisp innings, and Robinson Cano hit an early three-run homer to give the New York Yankees a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.
A pleasant surprise for the Yankees thus far, Colon (2-1) outpitched Mark Buehrle to give him two wins in two starts this season -- his first in the majors since 2009.
The husky right-hander, who won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award for the Angels, signed a minor league deal in February and was brought to spring training to provide pitching depth. He had a strong camp and made the team as a long reliever, but has quickly become an April savior for a New York rotation missing injured All-Star Phil Hughes.
The 37-year-old Colon, who beat Toronto 6-2 last Wednesday, flashed an overpowering fastball that had been missing for years as he struggled to overcome injuries. Hitting 94-95 mph on the stadium radar gun, he struck out six and walked one against his former team.
Colon allowed seven hits, including Adam Dunn's RBI single in the sixth, and threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes in a game that took just 2 hours, 11 minutes. It was the first time he pitched more than seven innings since Sept. 22, 2007, with the Angels against Seattle in a 3-2 loss.
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save after blowing his previous two chances.
The victory made Joe Girardi the ninth manager to reach 300 regular-season wins with the Yankees. He is 300-207 since taking over before the 2008 season.
Buehrle (1-3) pitched well but failed in his fifth attempt at career win No. 150. The left-hander gave up six hits in seven innings, dropping to 1-8 against the Yankees in his career.