The New York Yankees lead the Majors with 190 home runs, using them all season as the means to many victories. Last night in Chicago, they got to feel what it is like to be on the wrong side (or Southside) of a homer barrage (four in all), as they fell to the White Sox 9-6.
Freddy Garcia was staked to a 3-0 lead after the Yankees chased Gavin Floyd in just over two innings. It could have been much better for the Yankees but they couldn’t completely break the game open. The White Sox had no trouble doing so in the bottom of the fifth off of four Yankees pitchers.
Garcia was fighting himself most of the night and it finally caught up with him. Garcia allowed a two-run homer to Dewayne Wise, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees when they acquired Ichiro Suzuki and was yanked when he followed that up by allowing a single and two walks to load the bases. Cody Eppley got a groundout which forced in a run, Clay Rapada allowed a run-scoring single to A.J. Pierzynski and then Joba Chamberlain gave up a RBI-single to Dayan Viciedo to end the scoring. Garcia ended the night allowing five runs on six hits and four walks, though he struck out eight in 4 1/3 innings.
The Yankees battled right back with three in the top of the sixth. Derek Jeter, who tried to win this game on his own, hit a solo homer (11) with one out. After two walks and a wild pitch, Mark Teixeira drove in Nick Swisher with a single. Teixeira was making his first start in three games due to a wrist injury. Casey McGehee produced a two-out pinch-hit single scoring Robinson Cano giving the Yankees the lead.
Chamberlain, making his seventh appearance since being called up from rehab for Tommy John and ankle surgery, coughed up the lead on a solo homer to Gordon Beckham. Chamberlain now sports a 9.45 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. After Chamberlain hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch, left-hander Boone Logan came on and retired Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko to end the inning.
Logan was left in to start the seventh and it turned out to be a mistake. He allowed a two-out two-run homer to Alexei Ramirez giving the White Sox an 8-6 lead. Derek Lowe allowed one final blast for the Sox, their fourth of the night, off the bat of Dunn, his MLB leading 36th of the season. In all the bullpen was a wreck. They allowed four runs on seven hits including three homers in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees couldn’t push across any more runs after the sixth despite Jeter’s best efforts. He went 4-for-5 on the night and passed Nap Lajoie (by Elias Sports Bureau’s record-keeping) and tied Eddie Murray on the all-time hits list with 3,255. He also scored the 1,845th run of his career passing Craig Biggio for 13th place on the all-time runs list.
The Yankees (72-50) saw their lead in the American League East shrink to four games as the Tampa Bay Rays won again. It is the smallest lead they’ve had since June 29. Tonight, Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.76 ERA) takes on Francisco Liriano (4-10, 5.22 ERA).