Joe Girardi showed a lot of confidence in his ace in Game 5.

C.C. Sabathia cruised through seven inning but yielded a run in the eighth before stumbling into a bases loaded, one-out jam. The Yankees' ace struck out Nate McLouth, then got a ground out from Game 4 hero J.J. Hardy, en route to a complete game 3-1 victory leading the Yankees to a 3-2 series win and a spot in the ALCS.

McLouth nearly homed in his previous at-bat as the ball just missed the right-field foul pole.

Mark Teixeira's calf didn't appear to bother him all that much on Friday, stealing a base in the in the fifth and scoring from second on a Raul Ibanez single.

New York got its second run in the following inning on an Ichiro Suzuki double off-the-wall that scored Derek Jeter from first. Curtis Granderson shook off his slump in the seventh with an arching blast down the right-field line that landed in the second deck to make it 3-0.

Baltimore's Jason Hammel started the game with four hitless innings, before Teixeira's single in the fifth. Hammel (0-1) left after 5 2/3 innings, having allowed two runs on four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.

Sabathia (2-0) ended with nine K's against four hits, two walk and a run.

The Yankees won't have long to celebrate their ALDS win. The pinstripes with host the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night.

Al Bello, Getty Images