Results tagged ‘ Cy Young Award ’
The door keeps revolving in the Yankees’ clubhouse. Pitcher Dellin Betances was the latest arrival from Triple A Scranton for Thursday night’s series finale against the Mariners. The righthander was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts and two relief appearances totaling 28 1/3 innings.
Heading back to Scranton was pitcher Brett Marshall, who made his major-league debut in Wednesday night’s 12-2 loss to Seattle. The righthander threw 108 pitches and allowed five earned runs, nine hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings but was praised by manager Joe Girardi for saving the bullpen. Marshall deserves credit for taking one for the team in taking punishment to keep the relief corps from having to toil in a lopsided loss.
Betances was the choice for promotion because Marshall would not be available to pitch for at least four days. Adam Warren pitched four innings only three days ago, so the Yankees need a middle-innings reliever who can give them some length. Girardi said that Betances was the most stretched-out of the pitchers at Scranton.
Marshall was one of five players to make their major-league debuts for the Yankees in the first 40 games. The others were pitchers Preston Claiborne and Vidal Nuno and infielders David Adams and Corban Joseph. The Elias Sports Bureau points out that the previous time as many as five players made their big-league debuts with the Yankees within the club’s first 40 games was in 1995 – pitchers Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Brian Boehringer and Jeff Patterson and shortstop Derek Jeter.
Adams, who also played in his first major-league game Wednesday night on his 26th birthday, was only the fourth player in 95 seasons to get a hit in his first game on his birthday. The others were the Cleveland Indians’ Dave Clark Sept. 3, 1986 at Toronto, the Atlanta Braves’ Bruce Benedict Aug. 18, 1978 at St. Louis and the Washington Senators’ Sept. 13, 1939 in the second game of a doubleheader at Chicago, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Another familiar face Thursday night was that of Mariners starter Hector Noesi, who pitched for the Yankees in 2011 and was traded with catcher Jesus Montero to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda, who has yet to pitch for the Yankees. Montero was Noesi’s catcher Thursday night.
The Blue Jays come to Yankee Stadium Friday night to open a three-game series. Probable starting pitchers: Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 2.31) vs. Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.19) at 7:05 p.m. Friday on Channel 9, David Phelps (1-2, 4.33) vs. Brandon Morrow (1-2, 4.69) at 1:05 p.m. Saturday on YES and CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.19) vs. R.A. Dickey (3-5, 4.83) at 1:05 p.m. on YES. All games are on WCBS Radio (880 AM).
Sunday’s matchup will mark the third time this season that Sabathia, the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner, will be paired against a fellow recipient of that honor. The other games were April 7 against the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (2011), a 7-0 Yankees victory at Detroit, and May 14 (Tuesday night) against the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2010), a 4-3 Yanks victory at the Stadium. CC got the victory over Detroit and a no-decision against Seattle. Dickey was the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Mets and was traded to the Blue Jays.
Curtis Granderson, activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, was thrown right into the fire as the starting left fielder and cleanup hitter against the Mariners and Felix Hernandez at Yankee Stadium to open the homestand following a 6-2 trip through Denver, Kansas City and Cleveland.
Granderson played all three outfield positions during his injury-rehabilitation stint at Triple A Scranton. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he will use Granderson in each spot, although it appears that left field will be the one where he will play most often. Brett Gardner has done an outstanding job in center field during Granderson’s absence, and Girardi noted that while he has played some left field Ichiro Suzuki is more comfortable in right field.
Center field with the Yankees is one of the sexiest positions in baseball, yet Granderson told reporters before Tuesday night’s game that he is fine with his new surroundings. Just being back in the major leagues is satisfying enough for Granderson, who enjoyed being back at the Stadium where he was also visited by Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association. Granderson is the Yankees’ player representative to the union.
Granderson is among several Yankees individual players with good career numbers against King Felix, who entered the game with an 8-5 record and 3.08 ERA in his career against the Yankees. The righthander has been especially tough at the current Stadium with a 4-1 mark and 1.13 ERA.
Granderson is a .273 hitter with two doubles, one triple and two home runs in 55 at-bats against Hernandez. Others with good numbers are Robinson Cano (.366, 2 doubles, 2 homers in 41 at-bats) as well as Ichiro (.400) and Jayson Nix (.500) in a limited number of at-bats. Ichiro is 2-for-5 and Nix 5-for-10.
Missing from the lineup will be designated hitter Travis Hafner, who was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his right shoulder that has been sore for several days. The Yankees hope the situation is not serious, but Hafner has had shoulder problems in the past. Vernon Wells, who had manned left field while Granderson was out, was in the lineup as the DH.
CC Sabathia will start for the Yankees in the matchup of former Cy Young Award winners. This is the pairing of Sabathia, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2007 with the Indians, and Hernandez, the 2010 AL winner. It marks the fourth time former Cy Young Award winners will meet at the current Stadium after the winning the award. The others were Sabathia against Lee June 16, 2009, Sabathia against Roy Halladay June 15, 2010 and Sabathia against Johan Santana June 20, 2010.
Sabathia took a 12-4 record and 2.46 ERA in his career against the Mariners into the game. He has won each of his past eight starts against Seattle dating to Aug. 13, 2009 with a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings over that stretch.
The unfortunate side of the Granderson transaction is that pitcher Vidal Nuno, who got his first major-league victory in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader at Cleveland, was optioned to Scranton to create roster space. It was the obvious move because having pitched five innings Monday Nuno could not be used for several days. The lefthander, who pitched eight scoreless innings in two appearances for the Yankees, made a strong impression and will be in Scranton’s rotation to get innings and be available if the Yankees need pitching help down the road, which they almost surely will.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Nuno and righthander Adam Warren became the second pair of Yankees pitchers to earn their first career victory and first career save, respectively, in the same game. The others were Alan Closter (victory) and Fritz Peterson (save) July 25, 1971 in the second game of a doubleheader at Milwaukee. Warren was also the winning pitcher of the Yanks’ victory Thursday at Denver. Elias points out that he and Nuno marked the first pair of Yankees pitchers to earn their first major-league victories on the same trip since Matt DeSalvo and Tyler Clippard in May 2007.
The Yankees shut out their opponent in Game 2 of a doubleheader after being shutout in Game 1 of the DH for only the second time in the past 37 years. They also turned the trick on May 12, 2010 at Detroit, dropping Game 1, 2-0, and winning Game 2, 8-0. The Yankees are 4-0 in games immediately following a shutout loss this season, and have gone 30-9 (.769) in such games since 2008 when Joe Girardi took over as manager.
Okay, it is time now to forget all this stuff about how the American League East is not just about everybody chasing the Yankees and the Red Sox. After a lot of talk in pre-season publications that the division will have a different look and that the traditional rivals aren’t the teams they used to be, well, take a lot at the standings. The reconstituted Red Sox are in first place, and the pieced-together Yankees are right behind them.
The Blue Jays? The team that brought to Toronto all that star power from the Marlins trade plus the acquisition of last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner (R.A. Dickey) and the signing of last year’s NL batting champion, Melky Cabrera (I don’t care what Bud Selig says; Cabrera had the highest batting average in the NL in 2012), is at the bottom of the AL East with the third worst record in the major leagues.
The Yankees kept Toronto in its place with their first four-game sweep of the Jays at Yankee Stadium since Sept. 18-21, 1995, which was the rookie season of Mariano Rivera, who made it 9-for-9 in saves this year by wrapping up Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Dickey. That makes it both of last year’s Cy Young Award winners that the Yankees beat in a week’s time. They defeated the Rays’ David Price, the 2012 American League winner, five days earlier at St. Petersburg, Fla.
All those warning signals that went up when the Yankees started 1-4 out of the gate seem silly now that they won 14 of their past 19 games with contributions coming from just about everyone on the roster, particularly from some guys other clubs couldn’t wait to rid themselves of.
Take Sunday, for example. The Yankees had only four hits, but two of them were home runs off Dickey by Brennan Boesch and Lyle Overbay. During spring training, the Yanks signed Boesch after he was released by the Tigers and Overbay after he was released by the Red Sox. The Angels were willing to eat more than half of what was left of the sizeable contract of Vernon Wells, who has batted .379 with three homers and six RBI in seven games against Toronto this year, six of them Yankees victories.
Overbay entered the game with a 1-for-14 (.071) career mark against Dickey but ended up going 2-for-3. His third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh with two out, turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead that was held up by the relief work of Boone Logan, David Robertson and the great Rivera. The long ball has haunted Dickey (2-4, 4.54 ERA), who has yielded five home runs in 36 innings.
The Yankees came from behind in all four games of the series and won two games by one run apiece and the other two by two runs each. They are 9-1 in games decided by two runs or less, 4-0 in one-run games and 14-1 when holding opponents to four runs or less.
Phil Hughes remains winless this season despite a good, six-inning outing in which he gave up seven hits and a walk (intentional) with nine strikeouts. One of the two runs he allowed was the result of three soft, two-out singles in the fourth. Hughes was once again plagued by an elevated pitch count (111), but for the first time since Aug. 7 last year he did not give up a home run in a start at Yankee Stadium. He had allowed a total of 10 homers over his previous six starts at the Stadium.
Rivera now has the highest saves total in one month for his career and has converted 32 saves in a row at the Stadium since the start of the 2011 season. Overall, the bullpen has been sensational. Over the past six games, the relief corps has held opponents to three earned runs, three walks and 11 hits in 17 innings with 24 strikeouts and a 1.59 ERA.
And, remember, the Yankees are doing all of this with five regulars out of the lineup. Francisco Cervelli last week joined Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira on the disabled list, and Kevin Youkilis with an ailing back may not be far behind. This should have been the time that the Yankees were the most vulnerable, but they have stayed near the top of the division standings while the Blue Jays have stumbled to the bottom.
The tightness in the scores of this series indicated that Toronto was not exactly blown away by the Yankees, but the losses continue to mount with a 9-17 record looking fearfully like a team pretty much buried before the first month of the season is completed. The Jays can moan all they want about the loss of All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, but the Yankees have shown that injuries to key players do not have to be crippling.
Much of the concern about the 2013 Yankees has centered on the offense, what with the loss of 194 home runs in players gone from the 2012 team and the season-opening injuries to four key position players – Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. What the Yankees were counting on to offset the lineup changes was quality pitching. Yet it is the pitching that has been a main culprit in the club’s 1-4 start.
Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Tigers was the latest example of shabby pitching. The Yankees were hoping for a boost from Phil Hughes, removed from the disabled list and thrust into the rotation over David Phelps, who returned to long relief. Well, Phelps got into the game anyway because Hughes lasted only three batters into the fifth inning and was hit hard – four runs (three earned) and eight hits.
Boone Logan, the Yankees’ lone lefthander in the bullpen, had another troublesome outing against Detroit’s left-handed hitters. Friday, he yielded a three-run home run to Prince Fielder, who was the first batter Logan faced again in the fifth inning Saturday. Logan kept Fielder in the park this time, but a single gave the Detroit first baseman his sixth RBI of the series. Logan gave up an RBI single later in the inning to another left-handed hitter, Andy Dirks.
The Yankees came back from a 5-1 deficit to make it a one-run game by scoring three runs in the sixth. A tiring Max Scherzer walked Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis to start the inning and yielded a single to Travis Hafner that resulted in the righthander’s departure. Al Alburquerque walked Vernon Wells to load the bases, but Brennan Boesch lined into a double play. After another walk, Alburquerque gave up a two-run single to Lyle Overbay.
Just when the Yankees got back into the game, Phelps failed to produce a shut-down inning and allowed two runs in the bottom of the sixth as the Tigers began to pull away again. Joba Chamberlain, whose ERA is a glaring 21.60, was wild (two walks, one wild pitch) in allowing a run in the eighth.
The Tigers finished with 17 hits, including four by Miguel Cabrera and three apiece by Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. It could have been worse for the Yankees, but Detroit had 4-for-15 (.267) with runners in scoring position.
The amount of hits Yankees pitchers have allowed is alarming – 61 in five games, an average of 12.2 knocks per game. Opponents are batting .339 in 180 at-bats against the Yanks. Meanwhile, Yankees hitters are batting only .219 in 160 at-bats. They do have six home runs (Wells got his second of the season Saturday), so the power outage expected has not actually materialized, but the offense has been unable to compensate for the pitching problems. The Yankees have been outscored, 33-17. Detroit relievers have combined for seven scoreless innings against the Yanks the past two games.
Staff ace CC Sabathia gets the opportunity to be a stopper Sunday in the series finale at Comerica Park. One major hurdle, however, is that the Tigers’ scheduled starter is Justin Verlander. It is a dream matchup of former American League Cy Young Award winners, and the pressure is on CC to turn the staff in a positive direction.
There appeared to be no lingering effects to pitcher Hiroki Kuroda’s right middle finger that was struck by a line drive and ultimately was responsible for his early departure from Wednesday night’s game. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Kuroda remained on schedule to make his next start Monday night at Cleveland.
Prior to facing the Indians in a four-game series at Progressive Field, the Yankees have a hurdle with a three-game set this weekend at Detroit’s Comerica Field. Probable starters for the Yanks in the matchup against the Tigers are Ivan Nova at 1:05 p.m. Friday against Doug Fister in the defending American League pennant winners’ home opener, David Phelps at 4:05 p.m. Saturday against Max Scherzer and CC Sabathia at 1:05 p.m. Sunday against Justin Verlander in a pairing of former AL Cy Young Award winners.
Thursday night’s lineup for the Yankees had Robinson Cano in the 2-hole with Ichiro Suzuki dropping to sixth. Girardi said he wanted to separate his left-handed hitters now that he no longer has switch hitters in the order, but I suspect giving Cano an extra at-bat perhaps was also part of the decision.
It was Opening Day at Yankee Stadium Monday, but not for everybody with the Yankees. They opened the franchise’s 1111th season with five important ingredients missing due to injuries. No Derek Jeter. No Alex Rodriguez. No Curtis Granderson. No Mark Teixeira. No Phil Hughes.
With four major position players out of the lineup, the Yankees had a decidedly different look from the team that finished the 2012 season. Newcomers to the squad included Vernon Wells in left field, Kevin Youkilis at first base and Ben Francisco as the designated hitter with familiar faces from the bench getting starting nods, Eduard Nunez at shortstop, Jayson Nix at third base and Francisco Cervelli behind the plate.
It may take some time for Yankees fans to warm up to Youkilis, a long-time target of disdain during his years with the Red Sox. He was slow to acknowledge the bleacher creatures’ first-inning roll call and heard some boos then and again when he batted in the first inning. Youk did hear cheers when he threw a runner out at the plate in the second inning, a rough one for CC Sabathia, who was touched for four runs on four hits and two walks.
Brett Gardner, who missed most of last season with a wrist injury, was back but this time in center field. Yankees manager Joe Girardi toyed with the idea of flip-flopping Granderson and Gardner during spring training, but when Curtis went down with a forearm injury the experiment never materialized.
Sabathia made the 10th Opening Day start of his career and the fifth in a row for the Yankees. He became the sixth pitcher in franchise history make at least five Opening Day starts. The only pitchers with more were also lefthanders, Whitey Ford and Ron Guidry with seven apiece and Lefty Gomez with six.
A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of former Yankees fireballer Bob Turley, the 1958 American League Cy Young Award winner and World Series hero who died last week at the age of 82.
There was also a touching tribute before the game in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Conn. An honor guard of Newtown police officers and firefighters were on the field as a list of the victim’s names appeared on the center field video screen. Yanks and Red Sox players wore special ribbons on their uniforms to commemorate the tragedy.
Hours before the Presidential debate at Hofstra, Yankees fans had plenty to debate about the team’s lineup for American League Championship Series Game 3 at Detroit’s Comerica Park. No Alex Rodriguez. No Nick Swisher. Eduardo Nunez is playing shortstop. Where do we begin?
Well, the starting point is that the Yankees are down 0-2 in the series with no Derek Jeter, the next three games (they hope; it could be only two) in the other club’s yard and the reigning AL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner on the mound Tuesday night. How’s that for backs against the wall?
Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided that the lack of production from A-Rod and Swish in the postseason needed to be replaced by something different. Brett Gardner, who has had three at-bats since April, was inserted in left field and the leadoff spot with Ichiro Suzuki moving to right field and batting second.
Gardner joins Ichiro and Curtis Granderson to give the Yankees their swiftest outfield, which is important at spacious Comerica and a fly-ball pitcher, Phil Hughes, starting for them. Despite hitting two home runs during the regular season off Verlander, Rodriguez has been struggling big-time right-handing pitching in the postseason, which has resulted in Girardi lifting him for pinch hitters twice and benching him in the final game of the AL Division Series.
Using Eric Chavez at third base allows Girardi to get another left-handed batter, Raul Ibanez, the postseason batting star for the Yankees, in the lineup as the designated hitter. Nunez at short is definitely a gamble. He is a liability on defense, but the Yankees need a boost in offense (they were held scoreless in 21 of 22 innings in the first two games).
Let’s face it; the whole lineup is a gamble. When you are in the situation the Yankees are, rolling the dice is all that is left.
Joe Girardi, who certainly did not have a good time on his 48th birthday, was understandably upset with the second straight bad call by a umpire on the bases Sunday night. The problem with much of his argument in the case of ALCS Game 2 was that the Yankees did not score at all. The two runs the Tigers scored after the missed call in the eighth inning surely hurt, but they did not cost the Yankees the game. No team can win a game, zero to minus-one.
The Yankees fell behind 0-2 in the ALCS with a 3-0 loss, which was not the scenario they would want heading into Game 3 Tuesday night at Detroit against Justin Verlander, the 2011 American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner and a Cy Young Award candidate in 2012 as well.
The Yanks need a big game from Phil Hughes like the strong effort he gave them in Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the Orioles to get back into this series. That will not be enough, however. The Yankees have gotten above-average work from their starting pitchers during the postseason. Hiroki Kuroda was the latest example Sunday. He flirted with a perfect game for five innings, and those two runs in the eighth that were charged to his record were definitely tainted.
Yankees starters in the seven postseason games have pitched to a 2.33 ERA in 54 innings, but their record is a combined 2-2 with three no-decisions, due primarily to scant run support. The Yankees have scored 11 runs from the ninth inning on in postseason play but only nine runs in innings one through eight. They have been shut out in the first eight innings of both games in the ALCS and were flat-out shut out in Game 2.
It was not the sort of game the Yankees wanted the day after losing their captain, Derek Jeter, for the rest of the year to an ankle injury. Jayson Nix did a nice job in the field at shortstop but was 0-for-3 at the plate. I am not singling him out by any means. If the Yankees need Jayson Nix to save their season, they are in more trouble than they think they are.
Robinson Cano, who was at the center of the two baseline calls the past two games at Yankee Stadium, had his hitless streak reach 26 at-bats, the longest in postseason history, and only five of those outs have gone to the outfield. In Game 1, Cano was called out on a rally-killing double play in the second inning when replays indicated he beat the throw.
With the margin of error so miniscule, plays such as the one in the eighth inning Sunday become magnified, to the point that a manager got himself ejected. Kuroda got the first two outs on strikeouts before Omar Infante singled to center. Austin Jackson followed with a single to right. Nick Swisher, detecting that Infante had made a wide turn around second but had changed his mind about going to third, threw behind the runner. Second base umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that Infante was safe getting back to second, but replays clearly showed that Cano had tagged Infante near his chest before he touched the bag. The Tigers added tag-on runs with singles by rookie Avisail Garcia off Boone Logan and Triple Crown champ Miguel Cabrera off Joba Chamberlain.
“I don’t have a problem with Jeff’s effort because he hustled to get to the play,” Girardi said. “But in this day and age when we have instant replay available to us, it has got to change. These guys are under tremendous amounts of pressure. It is a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. And it takes more time to argue and get upset than you get the call right. Too much is at stake. We play 235 days to get to this point, and two calls go against us. We lose it by one run [Saturday] night.
“I’m not saying if Robby Cano is safe, that it changes the game. The outcome may be the same, but I like to take my chances. There is more pressure on the pitchers when it is 1 0 in the eighth inning and your club is hitting than 3 0. It’s a lot easier for a reliever to relax. He knows if he makes one mistake, it is still 3 1. The technology is available. That’s what our country has done. We have evolved technology to make things better.”
All right, the argument about using instant replay more often should be continued, and the issue should be taken seriously. What the Yankees need now more than instant replay is to get some clutch hits or they can forget reaching the World Series.
“We have to make some adjustments,” Girardi said. “We have to take what they give us and find a way to put balls in play when runners are on, and get runners in, and get them over, and do the things that you need to do to score runs.”
It was a pretty somber clubhouse Friday night, as you would expect. A 6-4 loss to the Rays was not the way the Yankee wanted to open this homestand. With the Orioles playing on the West Coast, the Yanks faced the possibility of waking up Saturday in second place in the American League East for the first time in three months.
For the Yankees to survive this division race that grows tighter by the day, they will need CC Sabathia to pitch like the ace he has been since his arrival in 2009. That has not been the case, however, for four consecutive starts in which he has surrendered leads in each game.
Friday night’s advantage was only 1-0, but there was a time when that was sufficient for CC. He struggled through the fifth inning and allowed three runs on three hits, two walks and two wild pitches. One of those walks was to .193-hitting Carlos Pena.
“That’s when the inning got away from him,” manager Joe Girardi said.
“I’m not making pitches when I need to,” Sabathia said. “When I get a lead and give it up against someone like David Price, that’s tough. Every game I right now is crucial. My arm feels good; my body feels good. I’ve just got to get back to pitching the way I know I am capable.”
Price, an AL Cy Young Award candidate, added to his credentials with seven strong innings. The score was 5-2 Rays when the lefthander exited as Rays manager Joe Maddon did the Yankees a favor by making a pitching change that I found questionable. Tampa Bay was coming off a 14-inning loss that completed a three-game sweep at Baltimore and had fallen four games behind in the division race. This was as big a must-win situation as the Rays could have, yet Maddon let Price call it a night and brought in Joel Peralta!
Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez could not have said “Thank you, Joe” loud enough with a double and a home run, respectively, in the bottom of the eighth to get the Yankees to 5-4. Maddon came to his senses and relied on Fernando Rodney for a five-out save, which he got, aided by a tack-on run in the ninth created by a clutch, two-out steal of second base by Desmond Jennings and an error by shortstop Eduardo Nunez.
So Price ended up with his 18th victory of the season and the Rays their 10th in 16 games against the Yankees this year while Sabathia remained winless in four starts since Aug. 24. He is 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA and 30 hits allowed in 27 innings during the stretch.
“I still believe in CC,” Girardi said. “I’m with him every day in that clubhouse, and I know his heart.”
Even in a quiet clubhouse, it was hard to hear the Yankees’ collective heart beating.
The Yankees encountered a severe bump in the road in Chicago. The previous time the Yankees faced a division leader, American League West-leading Texas, they took three of four from the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. The AL Central-leading White Sox proved stiffer competition in sweeping the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
It marked the first time the Yankees were swept in a series of at least three games by the White Sox since Chicago won a four-game set June 15-18, 2000 at the Stadium. The Yanks were swept in a series of at least three games at the Cell for the first time since Aug. 6-8, 1991. The sweep shrunk the Yankees’ lead in the AL East to three games over the Rays.
They were beaten at their own game by the White Sox, who outhomered the Yankees, 7-4, in the series. The Chisox got homers from seven different players, including Alex Rios’ blow off Phil Hughes that unlocked a 1-1 game in the sixth inning in Wednesday night’s finale. Three of the Yankees’ homers were by Derek Jeter, who homered in three straight games for the first time in his career.
The Captain’s dinger with one out in the sixth that tied the score was the only blemish on an overpowering outing by Sox starter Chris Sale, 23, a legitimate AL Cy Young Award candidate who improved his record to 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA. The 6-foot-6 lefthander gave up three hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, including Ichiro Suzuki three times and Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Casey McGehee twice apiece. Jeter was the only Yankees hitter that Sale did not fan. Overall, the Yankees struck out 15 times.
It was a tough loss for Hughes (12-11), who allowed five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in seven innings. He gave up a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Youkilis that scored Gordon Beckham, who had led off the inning with a double.
DeWayne Wise, who tormented his former teammates throughout the series (7-for-14, one home run, two RBI, two runs, one stolen base), bunted for a single that sent Beckham to third. The hit proved a gift because video replays indicated that first base umpire Bill Welke blew the call and Wise should have been called out. It didn’t affect the game, however, because even if Wise had been out Beckham would have crossed to third base anyway and have been in position to score on the Youkilis fly ball.
The White Sox entered the set coming off a disastrous series at Kansas City where they were swept and played shabbily. Clearly, they returned to form against the Yankees and raised their lead in the AL Central to two games over the Tigers.
The Yankees meanwhile get their first day off in 20 days Thursday. They sure can use one.