Yankees Hold Off White Sox, Sweep Chicago • Latino Sports

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Yankees Hold Off White Sox, Sweep Chicago

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Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- The Chicago White Sox already know that the 2013 playoffs are an afterthought.

The New York Yankees are still in the standings limbo though, two games back of the Tampa Bay Rays for a potential wildcard playoff spot. It was with this thought in mind that they took advantage of Chicago’s rookie pitcher Erik Johnson for a 6-5 win.

Johnson was so green that Wednesday’s start was his Major League debut, and for the first three innings Johnson held his ground in a 1-1 game.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees’ lineup came around a second time and figured Johnson out, scoring four runs to go ahead 5-1.

After putting runners on first and second through a single to Alex Rodriguez and a throwing error by Johnson enabling Ichiro Suzuki to reach first, Yankees’ first baseman Lyle Overbay put New York on top 2-1 with an RBI-double to left-field.

Two batters later, and with one out, a Brett Gardner triple to left-field would score Ichiro and Overbay as the Yankees took a 4-1 lead. Second baseman Robinson Cano added the final run of the inning for a 5-1 Pinstripes rally with an RBI-single to third base.

Johnson stuck around till the top of the seventh, eating some innings for a tired White Sox bullpen, and finished the evening by picking up the loss [0-1] after going six innings for three earned runs, off seven hits including a home run to Robinson Cano [26], a solo-shot back in the bottom of the first that tied the game at 1-1.

“It was a great feeling to be out there,” said Johnson. “I think I could have just filled up the strike zone a bit better, worked ahead, especially with all my pitches. That was the main thing.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson is the first White Sox pitcher to make his debut against the Yankees since Jim Parque [31-34 over a six-year career] did so back in May of 1998.

The Yankees are now 5-0 against pitchers making their Major League debut against them going back to August of 2011, and are 8-8 since 2000.

For their part, the White Sox did not play as if the rest of the season was meaningless, and almost came back to win the game when they scored four runs against Yankees’ reliever David Robertson in the top of the eighth to cut the Yankees lead to 6-5.

Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera got the final four outs of the game to record his 41st save of the season after entering in the top of the eighth with runners on first and second.

“There are some situations that I have to do it. Tonight was one of those nights,” Rivera said. “We had a lead and had to hold it. We need to do whatever it takes. Two outs, three outs, four outs — whatever it takes.”

The White Sox also tried out two other rookies in third baseman Marcus Semien [2-for-4 with an RBI in the eighth], and right-handed pitcher Daniel Webb [allowed one earned run off one hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in relief of Johnson], becoming the first team to trot out three rookies in the same game this season.

“That’s the position that we’re in,” said Chicago manager Robin Ventura, who seemed satisfied with his newbies. “It’s a positive step.”

Johnson and Semien also played together on 2011 College World Series team at the University of California-Berkeley.

Yankees’ starting pitcher CC Sabathia earned the win [13-11], allowing three earned runs off five hits runs in 7.1 innings. Sabathia is now 19-4 lifetime against the White Sox with a 3.63 ERA inn 33 career starts, while his .826 winning percentage against Chicago is the highest amongst any active Major League pitcher.

About Oren Vourman

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