CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez's seventh home run of the season -- a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning -- along with Adam Dunn's 36th homer of the season in the eighth (a solo effort) rallied the Chicago White Sox to a 9-6 win over the visiting New York Yankees on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Ramirez's 400-foot shot to left field scored A.J. Pierzynski, who had reached base on a broken-bat single, breaking a 6-6 tie at the time. Dunn's round-tripper one inning later gave the White Sox some insurance.
Ramirez's game-winning hit gave White Sox reliever Brett Myers (2-1) the win -- not bad, considering Myers pitched just two-thirds of an inning (top of the seventh) and allowed just one hit. Coming in to wrap things up in the top of the ninth, Addison Reed earned his 22nd save of the season, setting a new saves record for White Sox rookies.
Chicago improves its record to 66-55, while the Yankees, who stranded 12 runners to Chicago's nine in the game, fell to 72-50.
Reliever Boone Logan (4-2) suffered the loss for New York, which wound up wasting a strong offensive performance from Derek Jeter, who recorded his fourth four-hit game of the season with a home run, double and pair of singles, as well as a two-RBI outing from Mark Teixeira.
Surprisingly, the game drew only 27,561 fans, a stark contrast to the type of crowd many expected to attend a battle between two American League divisional leaders.
After Chicago rallied with a five-run fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead, the Yankees battled right back in the top of the sixth when Jeter hit his 11th home run of the season (solo shot), followed by consecutive walks to Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano.
White Sox reliever Hector Santiago uncorked a wild pitch that advanced both runners to third and second bases, respectively, and then Teixeira looped a single into short center field to score Swisher with the game-tying run (Robinson held at second).
The White Sox then brought in reliever Donnie Veal, who struck out Curtis Granderson swinging, only to give up the go-ahead run when pinch hitter Casey McGehee singled to left, scoring Cano while advancing Teixeira to second. Raul Ibanez struck out to end the inning, but the damage had been done, as Chicago's 5-3 lead suddenly became a 6-5 Yankees lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
White Sox leadoff hitter Gordon Beckham led off Chicago's half of the sixth with his 12th homer of the season, tying the game at 6-6.
The Yankees wasted little time getting to what would prove to be a very shaky White Sox starter, Gavin Floyd, whose outing ultimately didn't even last three full innings.
Jeter led off the game with a single to right, Swisher walked, Cano grounded into a force out that advanced Jeter to third while Swisher was thrown out at second. Teixeira singled to center, scoring Jeter and pushing Cano to third. Granderson then walked to load the bases.
Eric Chavez followed by hitting into a force out that nailed Teixeira at third, but allowed Cano to score the Yanks' second run of the inning. Ibanez was hit by a Floyd pitch, sending Granderson to second and loading the bases for the second time. But Ichiro Suzuki grounded out to second to end the two-run inning for the Yanks.
The White Sox threatened slightly in the first when Dewayne Wise singled to center and eventually stole second base, Kevin Youkilis flied out, Wise then took third on a wild pitch by Yankees starter Freddy Garcia and Adam Dunn walked. But Paul Konerko struck out on a hit-and-run try, with Dunn being tagged out at second to end the inning.
New York made it 3-0 in the top of the second. After Chris Stewart and Jeter led off with ground outs, Swisher and Cano both singled to right, and Teixeira walked to load the bases for a third time in the game. That was followed by an RBI single by Granderson that scored Swisher, but Cano was thrown out at the plate trying to score as well, ending the inning.
Chicago was thwarted once again in the bottom of the second when Alex Rios reached on an infield single, and Pierzynski hit into a soft ground out to first (Garcia covering), allowing Rios to go all the way to third. Dayan Viciedo lined out, Alexei Ramirez walked to put runners at the corners, only to have Beckham strike out swinging to end the inning.
Even though they didn't add to their score, the Yankees still chased Floyd in the third. Chavez struck out swinging, and Ibanez walked, sending Floyd to the showers. He was replaced by lefty Hector Santiago, who got Suzuki to hit into a force out that nailed Ibanez at second, and then Stewart struck out on a foul tip.
The White Sox scored twice in the fifth -- and it probably should have been at least three. Ramirez doubled down the third-base line, but after consultation among all four members of the umpiring crew, it was decided his hit was foul, bringing Ramirez back to the batter's box, where he subsequently struck out.
That's when things got really interesting. Beckham singled to left and scored on Wise's sixth home run of the season, making it 3-2 in favor of the Yankees. Youkilis singled to left, Dunn and Konerko walked to load the bases, chasing Garcia in favor of reliever Cody Eppley. Rios hit into a fielder's choice that forced Konerko at second but also allowed Youkilis to score from third, tying the game at 3-3. Immediately afterward, Eppley was pulled in favor of lefty reliever Clay Rapada to face Pierzynski, who sent a 3-2 pitch into center for a single, scoring Dunn from third, giving the White Sox the lead for the first time in the game.
"I didn't make pitches when I needed to -- that was the game," Garcia said afterward. "I was throwing the ball good and then I don't know what happened. It all changed like in five minutes. I was feeling pretty comfortable early on."
As for the inning that he got knocked out, Garcia put things in very matter-of-fact terms: "I just wasn't able to get to two outs."
The Yankees brought in their fourth pitcher of the inning, Joba Chamberlain, who yielded another run-scoring single, this time to Viciedo, scoring Rios to make it 5-3. Ramirez then flied out to center to end the inning, but the damage was done. Garcia's line was 4 1/3 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, four walks, eight wasted strikeouts, a home run and one wild pitch.
Chamberlain made just his seventh appearance of the season since being activated Aug. 1 after being sidelined for over a year, recovering from Tommy John surgery to his right elbow as well as dislocating his ankle during spring training as he began to work himself back into shape.
"We're trying to get him back to where he was before," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Chamberlain. "Right now, he's struggling."
Chamberlain agreed with Girardi's assessment but can't pinpoint what's wrong.
"If I knew, I'd figure it out," he said. "I have to get back to the board and make better pitches. I'm just trying to figure it out. It's frustrating, but you learn what you have to do to get better.
"It's just consistency and staying in your zone. You have to figure out what worked for you (before last year's surgery) and add to it. It's still the game of baseball. I've had a lot more struggles in life than this. I've tried to work this out for almost a year. I just have to stay focused and get to where I want to be."
NOTES: This series will wrap up 20 straight games without a day off for the Yankees, who have Thursday off before resuming the current road trip with a three-game series at Cleveland on Friday. Even though they return to New York after that, the Yanks will play 16 of their next 22 games (starting with Monday night's game at Chicago) away from Yankee Stadium. ... Even with Monday's loss, the Yankees have still won 5 of their last 8 and 9 of their last 13. ... The Yanks will send righty Ivan Nova (11-6) against lefty Francisco Liriano (4-10) Tuesday, and wrap up the three-game set on Wednesday with righty Phil Hughes (12-10) against southpaw Chris Sale (14-4).
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