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Eloy Jiménez put the White Sox ahead with a three-run homer. The he put the game away with another one.
Jiménez’s third multi-homer game of his career victimized the same team as his first one, and his six-RBI night propelled the Sox to a second straight energizing victory over the Yankees and a return to .500.
Lucas Giolito benefited from the outburst, although he didn’t need that much support. Even though he wasn’t at his sharpest, he allowed only a first-inning Luke Voit solo shot on the board, then coasted until the last few batters of his night, two of which he didn’t need to face.
But let’s get back to Jiménez, who is now up to 11 homers on the season in just 44 games. He thwarted CC Sabathia’s dream of 250 career wins — and a 20th against the White Sox — before Sabathia could close out the first.
Sabathia came close, striking out James McCann on three pitches with runners on the corners for the second out. Up came Jiménez, who didn’t try to do too much with a cutter down the middle. With Jiménez’s strength, he can still leave the yard under those circumstances, and he hoisted the ball into the first row of the right-center seats for the first three-run blast and a 3-1 lead.
The Sox could’ve knocked Sabathia out of the game earlier than they did, because they sent all nine hitters to the plate in the first and even tacked on one more run. Once he had a chance to regroup, the veteran found ways to buy himself time. Jose Abreu doubled home Tim Anderson thanks to an error in the second, but Sabathia ended that inning with a 6-3 double play, followed by a 5-4-3 in the third inning and a 3-6 in the fourth.
They finally got rid of Sabathia in the fifth after Jiménez singled on another well-hit ball, then took third on Jose Rondón’s single with two outs on a full count. Luis Cessa replaced Sabathia, but he couldn’t strand both runners because Yolmer Sánchez dropped a single to left, which made it 6-1.
After Giolito walked two with two outs in the sixth inning to add a little drama, the Sox offense drained the game of it.
Leury García reached on a walk, followed by an Anderson single. Up came Abreu, who grounded into another potential 5-4-3, but Anderson’s slide disrupted Gleyber Torres’ turn, and D.J. LeMahieu couldn’t snag the high throw. García scored on the error.
McCann followed with a “double” through Gio Urshela’s legs — that scoring might be reversed — to put two on for Jiménez once more, and Jiménez worked a full count before depositing an outside-corner slider into the shrubbery in center to give the Sox a 10-1 lead.
Giolito, who had problems closing out the top of the sixth and sat for a while during the Sox’ four-run blitz, came back out despite a steady rain, a pitch count in the 90’s and a nine-run lead. Sure enough, he gave up back-to-back singles before Renteria finally pulled him, and Juan Minaya stranded both runners to preserve Giolito’s ERA.
That now stands at 2.22 while he ran his record to 10-1. Besides the problems at the very end, Giolito once again looked good. He issued four walks, two of which stemmed from overthrowing to Voit after the first-inning homer. He worked predominantly fastball changeup, throwing 63 of the former and 24 of the latter. The slider also got four whiffs out of 10 whenever he needed to go to it, which wasn’t often.
*The White Sox outhit the Yankees 16-6, and outhit them with runners in scoring position 6-1.
*Abreu couldn’t snag a shot to first, then couldn’t find the handle, allowing an unearned run to score on Jose Ruiz’s tab against the game’s penultimate batter.
*Rondón almost committed a sin by running into the third out at third base in the first inning on Sánchez’s RBI single in the first, but it was overturned on a challenge. Good job by Welington Castillo, hustling home to add the fourth run no matter the outcome.
*Sabathia, who is retiring after the season, closed out the Sox portion of his illustrious career with a 19-8 record and a 3.79 ERA over 39 starts spanning 249⅔ innings.
*With four wins, the Sox locked in a season series victory against the Yankees.