Five runs! It’s a Joe Torre Day miracle. The Yankees retired Torre’s No. 6 on Saturday afternoon and then went out and beat the White Sox by the score of 5-3. It’s their third straight win and fifth in their last seven games. Let’s recap:
- Just Three Runs: The Yankees have a knack for wasting opportunities this year, so while they scored three runs from the second through fourth innings, base-running mistakes and double plays limited what could have been huge rallies. Chase Headley’s double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the second drove in their first run but also snuffed out a potential big inning. Mark Teixeira didn’t see Brian McCann being held up on Carlos Beltran’s fourth inning single, so he got caught in a rundown between second and third for the first out of the inning. Martin Prado bailed him out with a two-run double to left. Three runs is really good! But man this team can’t get out of its own way.
- Kuroda Grinds It Out: Much like Shane Greene on Friday, Hiroki Kuroda started Saturday’s game by giving up a lot of hard contact. Back-to-back doubles by Conor Gillaspie and Alexei Ramirez led to the game’s first run in the second, then Jose Abreu singled in Alejandro De Aza in the fourth after a walk and a wild pitch. Kuroda did not have a 1-2-3 until his final inning, so this was a grind. His final line — 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 6/6 GB/FB — was fine though. Not pretty, but effective. The White Sox made Kuroda work and he did a good job of limiting the damage.
- Tack-On Runs: The Yankees scored some insurance runs in the sixth inning, which was a nice change of pace. Beltran hit a cheap Yankee Stadium solo homer and Prado created another run with pure hustle, hustling a single into a double, moving up a ground ball, and scoring on Stephen Drew’s sac fly despite a strong throw home by Avisail Garcia. The Yankees scored 5+ runs for the first time in eleven games. Eleven games! Sadly, that is only their second longest such streak of the season. They went 12 straight with four or fewer runs earlier this year.
- Bullpen Work: Shawn Kelley gave back one of those insurance runs in the top of seventh on a single (Jordan Danks), a double (De Aza), and a ground ball (Carlos Sanchez). Dellin Betances escaped Kelley’s jam by getting Adam Dunn to fly out with runners on the corners. The struggling Adam Warren got the eighth inning due to Betances’ recently workload, and he had his first clean inning in what feels like an eternity. Ten pitches, 1-2-3. Nice and easy. David Robertson pitched around a one-out walk for his 34th save in 36 chances.
- Leftovers: Beltran had two hits and Prado had three while the rest of the lineup had two total. They were Ichiro Suzuki’s infield single and McCann’s sun-aided double. That makes 5-for-8 for the number five and six hitters and 2-for-20 for the other seven guys … Teixeira drew two walks and was hit by a pitch, so he reached base three times … the Yankees did not strike out for the first time since May 2011. It’s the first time they struck out zero times in a win since July 2009. Here’s the list of zero-strikeout Yankees games.
The box score and video highlights are at MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other game stats and the updated standing are at ESPN. The Yankees are currently 7.5 and three games back in the AL East and second wildcard races, respectively, though that will change pending the outcome of the day’s other games. They’ll wrap up this three-game series against the ChiSox on Sunday afternoon. A pair of polar opposite lefties named Chris will be on the mound (Capuano vs. Sale).