Coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the pesky Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox had their backs against the wall going into a series against the AL-leading New York Yankees. The Sox were outscored 19-8 and committed five errors in the previous series against 4th place Kansas City. To make matters worse, Chicago’s centerfielder and much-improved leadoff hitter, Alejandro De Aza, was put on the 15-day DL. There wasn’t much to be optimistic about going into a three-game series against the New York Yankees, who entered the series with the best record in the American League.
Rookie manager Robin Ventura were not fazed though, and again proved their resiliency and legitimacy as an American League contender. The Sox not only won the series, but swept the Yankees at home for the first time since 1991. Chicago looked every bit a first place team in this series, with all their big guns showing up. In Monday’s opener, the Sox hit four homers, including another Adam Dunn bomb. In Tuesday’s contest, the Sox’ new additions came through as Francisco Liriano pitched a quality start and Kevin Youkilis jacked a grand slam. And in Wednesday night’s finale, the Sox rode their Cy Young candidate, Chris Sale, to a grindy victory. Sale pitched 7 and 2/3 great innings, striking out 13 and only giving up one run. All phases of the game came together in this series, and the Sox were able to show just how dangerous they can be.
Also in this series, Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter had six hits, three home runs, and climbed into 11th on the MLB career hit list, with 3,257.
In the finale, Chris Sale added to his prolific Cy Young caliber season. He pitched over seven stellar innings, striking out 13 against one of the best offenses in baseball. Sale is now 15-4 on the season, with a 2.65 ERA and 150 strikeouts.
The Sox remain in first place in the AL Central, 2 games up on the rival Detroit Tigers.