White Sox fall to Yankees, leave town with series split
BY HOWIE RUMBERG Associated Press July 1, 2012 4:31PM
Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left, and Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd wipe their brows because of the high heat and humidity at their baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Updated: July 1, 2012 4:32PM
NEW YORK — Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer after wasting a chance with the bases loaded his first time up against Gavin Floyd, and the New York Yankees again rode the long ball to a 4-2 win Sunday over the White Sox for a series split between division leaders.
Eric Chavez connected for a two-run drive in the second inning, helping New York raise its major league-leading total to 124 home runs. The power surge helped make Phil Hughes a winner on the Yankees’ 66th Old-Timers’ Day.
Coming off eight scoreless innings in his previous start, Hughes (9-6) gave up two quick runs in the first inning. He then settled in nicely to limit the hard-hitting White Sox to just three more hits over his final seven innings.
Hughes followed Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova in giving the Yankees three quality starts from a rotation that took a couple of big hits Wednesday — CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte went on the disabled list on the same day.
Overall, Hughes allowed six hits and two runs over eight innings. He struck out eight.
Freddy Garcia returns to the rotation Monday, starting for Pettitte. The lefty is out for at least two months with a broken leg.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances this season.
Cano, elected an All-Star starter by the fans, has homered in nine of his last 14 games and entered Sunday hitting .367 in 13 games since June 17. But when he came up with the bases loaded and none out in the first inning he hit a tapper back to Floyd that was turned into a slick 1-2-3 double play. Cano has only one hit in 14 at-bats (.071) with the bases full this season.
Cano homered in the third off Floyd (6-8).
Teammates Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson will join Cano as starters for New York in the All-Star game July 10 in Kansas City. Sabathia was voted onto the team by his peers but a groin strain will keep him home for the festivities.
Jeter went 1 for 5, dropping his batting average below .300 for the first time since April 8. He’s hitting .299 after being at .340 on June 1st and above .400 in May.
The AL Central-leading White Sox landed Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Chris Sale on the AL squad. Right-hander Jake Peavy is among the five candidates for the final roster spot.
Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a sharp double and scored on Kevin Youkilis’ single, standing up and eluding the reach of catcher Russell Martin, who tried to make a swipe tag. There was reason De Aza was out of reach: replays clearly showed he never stepped on home plate.
After two outs, Alex Rios singled home another run for a 2-0 lead.
Wiping his brow with his sleeve and tugging at his uniform after nearly every pitch in the 95-degree heat, Floyd pitched from behind in the count much of his 5 1-3 innings.
He was also in trouble the moment his toe touched the rubber, giving up consecutive singles and a walk to start. But Cano grounded into a double play and Nick Swisher struck out to extend Floyd’s scoreless streak to 14 1-3 innings.
That would end in the second. Raul Ibanez led off with a single and Chavez connected for his sixth homer.
Cano lined a shot deep into the seats in the third, a batter after Mark Teixeira drew one of Floyd’s season-high five walks.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Phil Humber was scheduled begin an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Sabathia should begin playing catch next week. ... Yankees injured closer Mariano Rivera (torn knee ligament) was on the field before the Old-Timers’ game in shorts. He was wearing a light brace and said he felt good. ... Chavez made two tough catches into the sun while playing third base.