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Yankees hurler Sabathia notches 3,000th career strikeout

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Los Angeles (AFP)

New York Yankees hurler CC Sabathia reached another Major League Baseball milestone Tuesday, becoming just the 17th pitcher to record 3,000 career strikeouts.

Sabathia, 38, reached the landmark with a second-inning strikeout of the Arizona Diamondbacks' John Ryan Murphy in Phoenix.

He joined Randy Johnson (4,875) and Steve Carlton (4,136) as the only left-handed pitchers to reach the 3,000 mark, and became the first pitcher since John Smoltz in 2008 to reach the mark.

Sabathia came into the contest three strikeouts away from 3,000. He struck out David Peralta looking at a sinker to start the second inning, then struck out Christian Walker swinging at a fastball.

After surrendering a home run to Wilmer Flores, Sabathia induced Murphy to swing and miss at a changeup to end the inning.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez pumped his fist and kept hold of the ball, and Yankees players and coaches left the dugout to congratulate Sabathia.

Diamondbacks players applauded from their dugout as Sabathia acknowledged cheering fans with a tip of his cap.

"It's one of those awesome numbers," teammate Aaron Boone said before the game. "Three thousand hits, 500 homers, 3,000 strikeouts. I saw (as a young fan) Rod Carew get 3,000 (hits), Reggie get 500 (home runs). Those are magical numbers in our sport and people should take notice when people come up upon those things."

Sabathia allowed two home runs and five hits and struck out five before he departed with two on and one out in the sixth inning of a game the Diamondbacks went on to win 3-1.

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