The last time the White Sox beat the Yankees, Tim Anderson could trot around the bases for the winning run to end it. You might remember the game. They played in a cornfield, and it was commemorated in bobblehead form tonight.
He had to work for it tonight. After Liam Hendriks’ attempt to record a five-out save went by the boards in the top of the inning, Anderson couldn’t bail him out this time with one swing. He did single off Aroldis Chapman with one out to start something, and he could jog to second on Yoán Moncada’s walk.
That brought Luis Robert to the plate, and Chapman fell behind 3-0 with some big misses. He found the strike zone with a fastball, but he tried to throw off Robert with a 3-1 splitter. The problem was that he hung it, and Robert waited back long enough to shove it through the hole on the right side.
At 96.7 mph, Robert hit it hard enough to get it past Anthony Rizzo, but not so hard that it got to Aaron Judge too soon. Judge had to charge it, and while he made an on-target throw, Anderson beat the throw home comfortably with a slide behind catcher Kyle Higashioka, and the Sox could once again celebrate at the plate.
Robert atoned for his previous at-bat, when his fly ball to center with Anderson on third was too shallow to test Judge’s arm, and José Abreu popped out to keep the score at 2-0. That missed opportunity loomed large when the Yankees finally got on the scoreboard in the final two innings.
In the eighth, Joe Kelly was denied redemption. Three of the four Yankees he faced singled, and while the contact wasn’t pure, Judge and Stanton seemed prepared for the sinkers running inside, and adjusted their swings accordingly. Stanton’s muscled single to left scored Judge to make it a 2-1 game, and while Hendriks came in to record the five-out save, it was complicated by Anthony Rizzo’s steal of third
Hendriks delayed the scoring of the tying run by striking out Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres, but when he walked Joey Gallo to open the ninth, he couldn’t deny it. Isiah Kiner-Falefa got a lower, slower fastball after fouling back strike one and rifled it into right field to put runners on the corners. He then applied more pressure by stealing second on Hendriks …
… only to relieve it on Higashioka’s fly to left. It accomplished the purpose of scoring Gallo to tie the game, but Kiner-Falefa must’ve assumed A.J. Pollock was going to airmail the cutoff man for a hero throw home. When Pollock settled for Yoán Moncada near third base, he had an easy flip to Anderson for the TOOTBLAN at third, so all that terrible defense played by the White Sox finally paid off. DJ LeMahieu then struck out on a slider, and Hendriks at least preserved the tie. That’s how he got the win.
Dallas Keuchel did not get the win, and he would’ve deserved it. After the Yankees hit four homers in each of the first two games, Keuchel kept the Bombers in the park. He worked a double, three singles and three walks over five scoreless innings, striking out three. Two of the three walks were in his final inning of work as his command threatened to get away from him, but if he pitched around Judge to face the lefty Rizzo, the calculated risk worked in his favor. Rizzo grounded into the shift with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning.
Tony La Russa then pulled out all the stops afterward, using Kendall Graveman for an easy two, followed by Kelly and Hendriks.
He had to, because while the White Sox followed the Yankee playbook with an immediate run (Robert RBI single) and the long ball (Moncada taking Jordan Montgomery out to center), those accounted for the only two runs through eight innings. They were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position before Robert made it 2-for-9 at the end.
*The defense turned up for Keuchel, with three double plays, including one of Abreu’s nifty 3-6 jobs.
*Abreu also singled to snap an 0-for-21 skid.
*Anderson had three hits, raising his average to .339.