Yankees Wallop White Sox with Season-High 20 Hits

Jul 5, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Yankees enjoyed a rare blowout win Tuesday, defeating the Chicago White Sox 9-0.

Dropping the opener of the Chicago series, 8-2, after losing two of three in San Diego surely wasn’t what general manager Brian Cashman had in mind for the Yankees when he publicly pleaded for his team to reveal its intended identity.

So far, these 40-42 Yankees have hung around .500 long enough to keep their contender mask from being pulled off. Unfortunately for them, with the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline lurching around the corner, Cashman and his front office will star as the “meddling kids” searching for clues to bring future justice to a mediocre season.

Enter the second game at U.S. Cellular Field …

Prior to play, left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in favor of Luis Cessa, who surrendered three runs (two earned) in two innings Monday.

Carlos Beltran patrolled right field for the first time since injuring his right hamstring on June 28. The designated hitter position was vacated in time for Alex Rodriguez to return to the starting lineup vs. lefty Carlos Rodon.

Both Beltran and Rodriguez were limited to pinch-hit duties while the Yankees battled in Petco Park, a National League arena where the DH isn’t allowed.

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Batting back-to-back in the lineup Tuesday, Beltran singled and Rodriguez doubled in their first plate appearances. Despite the duo’s best efforts, Beltran was hosed at home on a fielder’s choice, and after Rodon walked the bases full, the lefty struck out Chase Headley to stoke the Yankees’ first-inning flames.

Chicago’s starter was unable to escape damage in the second. As the lineup rolled around, Beltran capitalized on hits from Rob Refsnyder and Brett Gardner by driving in his 54th RBI of the season. The Yankees scored one more in the frame from rookie shortstop Tim Anderson‘s first major league error.

Split-throwing specialist Masahiro Tanaka worked around two hits (one extra-base hit) in the bottom-half of the second to preserve New York’s 2-0 advantage. Three superb splitters to DH Avisail Garcia made for a well-timed strikeout, and an inning-ending fly-out squandered two chances for the White Sox with runners in scoring position.

Headley doubled the Yankees’ lead with his seventh four-bagger and second in as many games, plating Starlin Castro in the process, who had just collected his fifth-straight hit dating back to Monday’s 4-for-4 performance.

Beltran tested his hamstring with his third knock of the night, a double to deep center, and became the Yankees’ fifth run in four innings, scoring on a double from clean-up man Mark Teixeira.

The Bombers notched their sixth tally mark via the long ball. Austin Romine, continuing his career’s revival, connected for a solo shot (3) that sailed high into the left field seats.

Refsnyder’s second hit of the night came in the eighth. It was an RBI double off hard-throwing righty Michael Ynoa that drove in the Yanks’ seventh run and marked a season-high 18 hits in one game. That total was extended to 19 with an RBI double from Hicks, who avoided having another rough night that would’ve left skipper Joe Girardi defending his at-bats in the post-game press conference. 

Tanaka’s night was brought to an end after 103 pitches. The staff ace earned his sixth win in his third-longest outing of the year, going 7.2 scoreless innings while allowing six hits, one walk, and racking up six strikeouts.

The Yankees capped off their offensive outburst with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Overall, the team scored in six of nine innings (nine total runs), clobbered 20 hits (seven doubles, two homers, 11 singles), and encouragingly went 5-for-18 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-13 Monday.

Right-hander Michael Pineda (3-7, 5.24 ERA) will challenge Miguel Gonzalez (1-4, 4.88 ERA) in Wednesday’s rubber match at 8:10 PM Eastern Time. Yankees fans can view the game on YES Network.

Next: Yankees 2016 All Star Selections Announced

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