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White Sox sweep Yankees behind Chris Sale’s gem, Alex Rios’ HR

Chris Sale baffled Yankees for 7 2/3 innings allowing three hits. The Sox swept Yankees home for first time since

Chris Sale baffled the Yankees for 7 2/3 innings, allowing three hits. The Sox swept the Yankees at home for the first time since 1991. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 24, 2012 7:57AM

Chris Sale held the New York Yankees to three hits in 72/3 innings, and Alex Rios broke a tie with his 20th home run of the season as the White Sox completed a rare three-game sweep with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Sale improved to 15-4 while lowering his ERA to 2.65 as the American League Central-leading Sox swept the AL East-leading Yankees for the first time since 2000 and the first time at home since 1991. Sale struck out 13, his second-highest output of the season, and walked one.

“Every game is big from here on out,’’ Sale said. “It’s go time now.’’

In a year highlighted by bounce-back seasons from Rios, Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy, the resilient Sox (68-55) continued to bounce back as a unit. Before the Yankees came to town, they were swept by the Royals in Kansas City.

The victory preserved the Sox’ two-game lead over the Detroit ­Tigers in the division.

Gordon Beckham led off the third against Phil Hughes (12-11) with a double, advanced to third on Dewayne Wise’s bunt single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Youkilis.

The Yankees tied it on Derek Jeter’s homer in the sixth. It gave Jeter a home run in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.

Rios broke the tie in the sixth, leaving the rest to Sale and relievers Brett Myers and Addison Reed.

After he struck out Casey McGehee and Ichiro Suzuki in the eighth, Sale was at 109 pitches with Jeter up. Sale left to a standing ovation.

“That gives you chills,’’ Sale said.

Myers got the third out as Beckham ranged wide to his left for Jeter’s grounder in the hole. Reed got the last three outs for his 23rd save, striking out Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira on changeups.

“He’s now a three-pitch guy,’’ catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Reed. “He has the ability to throw strikes. He went right through the heart of the lineup.’’

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