Yankees Bullpen Fails to Save
White Sox Win, 4-3
(Maybe it's the heat but Yankee fans weren't the only ones who exhibited strange behavior. The bullpen blew Ivan Nova's stellar performance. Photos by Ken Carozza)
BRONX, NEW YORK, June 29- The Yankees relievers in the ninth inning of Thursday night’s contest failed to preserve a 3-1 lead. A three-run homer by Dayn Viciedo of Chicago ended the Yankees five-game winning streak and the six-game winning streak over the White Sox. New York remained five games in front in the American League East as every team in the division lost on Thursday.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova made a strong attempt to win his sixth straight decision. The 25-year old pitched 7.1 innings. He gave up only a single run during his impressive stint on a two-out home run to Alejandro de Aza in the fifth. He surrendered five other hits, walked three batters and fanned five.
The Sox threated Nova only in the fourth as base hits put runners on first and third with no one out. A short fly to Center and a double play ended the threat without a run being scored.
Chicago starter Dylan Axelrod also pitched an outstanding game. Axelrod only faced difficulty in the fourth and fifth frames. A-Rod doubled to lead-off the fourth. After two batters were retired, Nick Swisher and Raúl Ibañez walked to load the bases. Eric Chavez grounded to third to end the inning without a Yankee run.
The Yankees put their first runs on the scoreboard after two were retired in the following inning. Curtis Granderson singled. He scored on A-Rod’s second double in two innings. Rodriguez crossed the plate on a double by the next batter, Robinson Cano.
A two-out homer by Mark Teixeira, his 13th of 2012, in the bottom of the eighth put the Yanks ahead, 3-2.
The outcome was determined in the top of the ninth as the White Sox put three on the board against Yankees relievers. The Yankees pen men entered the contest second in the majors in ERA and second in allowing inherited runners to score.
Alex Rios began the ninth with a single off Cody Eppley, who retired the final batter in the eighth. Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then brought in Clay Rapada. The lefty did what was hoped for, got A.J. Pierzyinski to ground to the pitcher for what appeared to be an easy double play. Instead of two men being out, Rapada threw the ball into center field. David Robertson a righty, then came into the game and gave up the winning blow.
In the post-game press conference, Girardi faced a barrage of questions regarding his use of the relievers. Of not using closer Rafael Soriano, who has 17 saves in 18 opportunities this year, “I can’t run him out five out of six days after the very tough day yesterday and get him hurt.”
Explaining why he didn’t begin the ninth with Robertson, he said, “We’ve only used him once back-to-back. I’m going to be cautious.” Robertson was on the disabled list from May 15-June 14.
Adam Warren of the Yanks will make his Major League debut in the second contest of the four game series on Friday night. He will face Jose Quintana (2-1) will a minuscule Era of 125.
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