Walker has pinch-hit HR in 9th, Yanks rally past White Sox
NEW YORK — Pinch-hitter Neil Walker connected for a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Aaron Hicks hit a tying homer in the eighth and rookie Miguel Andujar also had a two-run shot to help the injury-depleted Yankees win for the ninth time in 11 games. With the second-best record in the majors, they began the night 6½ games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.
Walker batted for Ronald Torreyes with one out and launched the first pitch he saw from Dylan Covey (4-12) way over the right-center wall for his ninth home run of the season. As he neared home plate, Walker tossed his helmet high in the air and was swarmed by teammates.
With the Yankees down by two, Giancarlo Stanton singled leading off the eighth to snap an 0-for-14 slump. Hicks drove a full-count pitch from Juan Minaya to right and shouted excitedly in the direction of the Yankees’ dugout as he trotted toward first.
Dellin Betances (4-3) struck out two in a perfect ninth.
New York was blanked on one hit by James Shields over the first five innings. Brett Gardner began the comeback with a leadoff triple in the sixth, and Andujar connected for his 22nd homer two outs later.
After a single and a walk ended Shields’ night, Jace Fry retired slumping Greg Bird on a liner to deep right.
Bird also lined into a double play and flied out to deep right. With the score tied in the eighth and a runner on second, he popped out on a 3-1 pitch. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson tripped over oncoming left fielder Nicky Delmonico but held onto the ball for the final out of the inning.
Anderson exited with a bruised left ankle. He was replaced in the ninth by Jose Rondon.
Making his 400th career start, the 36-year-old Shields threw 98 pitches on a 96-degree night. He hasn’t won on the road since opening day at Kansas City.
Shields left leading 4-2 but remained 5-15 overall, tied with Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb for the most losses in the majors.
Showing signs of improvement, the rebuilding White Sox had won four straight and 10 of 13.
Chicago chased Yankees starter Lance Lynn with consecutive two-out singles in the sixth. Yolmer Sanchez greeted Jonathan Holder with an RBI single, and Delmonico made it 4-0 when he plopped a two-run single into left field.
Delmonico scored easily from first base in the fifth when Gardner bobbled Avisail Garcia’s RBI double in left field.
White Sox: All-Star 1B Jose Abreu (lower abdomen/groin surgery) is resting back home in Chicago. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Wednesday.
Yankees: RF Aaron Judge said his broken right wrist remains sore to the touch and he still hasn’t started swinging a bat. “It’s getting better every couple of days,” he said. “They told me I can play before it completely heals.” The slugger was injured July 26. “It takes about six weeks for something like this to fully heal,” Judge said. “I’m not that close yet. I’ll wake up one of these days and feel good. I’m just waiting for that day.” … C Gary Sanchez (strained right groin) was the DH in his second rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has homered in both games. … SS Didi Gregorius (bruised left heel) took grounders hit right at him and could begin running Wednesday. It remains to be seen whether he’ll need a minor league rehab assignment before coming off the DL. … All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman (left knee tendinitis) was scheduled to receive a second platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone said.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-9, 4.66 ERA) makes his first career start at Yankee Stadium in the series finale Wednesday night. Lopez is 0-4 with a 6.70 ERA in his last nine outings, getting a no-decision in each of the past five. But he pitched well Aug. 7 against New York, permitting one run in seven innings.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (7-4, 3.30) seeks his 245th career win. The 38-year-old lefty returned from the disabled list last Friday in Baltimore and allowed two earned runs with eight strikeouts over six innings. He racked up 12 strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in a strong outing Aug. 7 against the White Sox.