It’s been a rough go for the Yankees this year on their special Saturday games honoring their former players. They lost back-to-back games by a combined score of 14-1 on June 21st and 22nd when they added Tino and Goose to Monument Park, and got shut out by Corey Kluber 2 weeks ago when Paul O’Neill got the nod. There was another ceremony before this afternoon’s game, this one to honor former manager Joe Torre and retire his number 6. This time the Yankees changed their fortunes and picked up their second straight win against the White Sox to set up the sweep opportunity tomorrow.
Hiroki Kuroda was on the mound today and he turned in a quintessential Hirok performance. 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts. The White Sox got 1 in the 2nd on a pair of doubles and another in the 5th when Jose Abreu singled home a run. In between, they put at least 1 runner on base in every inning and came away with nothing every time. Hirok made pitches when he had to and he really had his splitter working as a swing-and-miss strike 3 pitch. He didn’t have a clean inning until his last one, but it was another strong outing for the 39-year-old vet.
The lineup chipped away at Chicago starter Scott Carroll and scored in a variety of ways. A walk, an error, and a bunt single loaded the bases in the bottom of the 2nd, and Chase Headley grounded into a run-scoring double play to both put the team on the board and kill the rally. The red hot Martin Prado doubled in 2 runs in the 4th to give the Yanks the lead. It could have been more, but some poor base running cost them an out. The icing on the scoring cake came in the 6th, when Carlos Beltran homered to lead off the inning, Prado doubled to set up another scoring opportunity, and Stephen Drew drove him home with a sac fly.
Shawn Kelley gave a run back in the top of the 7th. Outside of that it was a job well done by the rest of the bullpen regulars to preserve the win. Dellin Betances cleaned up Kelley’s mess in the 7th, Adam Warren pitched a perfect 8th, and D-Rob got his 34th save with another 2-K 9th.
– 3 more hits and 2 more RBI for Prado. He’s got 11 and 7 in his last 6 games.
– Good to see Beltran back in the lineup and even better to see him have a good day at the plate. 2-4, the homer, and 2 R scored.
– Jacoby Ellsbury hit leadoff today for the first time since July 24th. Naturally he went 0-4 and saw 8 pitches. Go figure.
– Today’s start was Kuroda’s 5th straight in which he allowed 3 ER or less and 5th in his last 10 in which he’s allowed 2 ER or less.