Derek Jeter's four hits, strong outing by Masahiro Tanaka help Yankees dominate White Sox
Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, which the Yankees already have come to expect just about every time the righthander takes the mound.
But four hits from Derek Jeter?
Sure, at one time such a performance wouldn't catch anyone involved with the Bombers by surprise but those days seemed to be well in the past.
Not Sunday, however, at U.S. Cellular Field when the 39-year-old shortstop experienced a turn-back-the-clock afternoon, collecting four hits, including a triple, in the Yankees' 7-1 victory over the White Sox that allowed them to earn a split of the four-game series.
The Yankees (26-23) went 3-3 this week in Chicago, with their nine-game trip continuing Monday afternoon in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
Jeter's season gave no indication such an outburst was coming as he came in hitting .259 with a .330 on-base percentage, going 5-for-23 the first five games of this trip.
Jeter finished 4-for-5, getting hits in his first four at-bats, with two RBIs and a run.
The shortstop's day overshadowed, though not by much, a terrific rebound effort by Tanaka, coming off the first loss of his major-league career last Tuesday on the North Side of town against the Cubs.
"Another good performance," Joe Girardi said before the game of his expectations for Tanaka. "I think we've come to expect that, that he's going to give you a great chance to win, going to give you distance and really compete out there."
Tanaka (7-1, 2.29) allowed one run, five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.
He shut out the White Sox (25-27) over five innings before Brett Gardner appeared to lose a Tyler Flowers drive leading off the sixth in the sun, leading to a run that made it 6-1. Tanaka did seem to tire late, walking two in the seventh inning, departing with two on and two out in the seventh, replaced by Adam Warren. Warren struck out Flowers to end the inning.
The Yankees put it away early, scoring four runs in a 31-pitch second inning that left White Sox starter Andre Rienzo (4-1) at 56 pitches after two.
Yangervis Solarte started the inning with a single and, after Alfonso Soriano flew out, Ichiro Suzuki singled and Brian Roberts walked to load the bases. Gardner got ahead 2-and-0 before grounding a two-run single to right that made it 2-0. A wild pickoff attempt by Rienzo moved Roberts to third and Gardner to second, and Jeter's second hit of the day, a flare to right, brought in Roberts to make it 3-0. Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly to center, a sinking liner that centerfielder Adam Eaton made a fine sliding catch on, made it 4-0.
The Yankees added on in the fourth when, with two outs, Jeter collected his first triple since 2011, sending one past a diving Adam Eaton in center, then scoring on Rienzo's wild pitch.
Jeter's RBI single in the sixth made it 6-1.
Roberts' second homer of the season, a solo shot off righthander Scott Carroll in the eighth, made it 7-1.