Bottom's up! Trio delivers for Yankees
Headley, Gregorius and Drew go 7-for-12 with 6 RBIs
CHICAGO -- It started from the bottom for the Yankees' lineup on Sunday, as Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley took charge of providing the thump in a 12-3 rout of the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters in New York's order combined to go 7-for-12 with eight runs and six RBIs, wrapping up a 10-game road trip in which the Yankees posted six victories and managed to gain a half-game in the American League East race.
"When the bottom of the order is as productive as it's been the last week or so, it just makes our entire team better," said Mark Teixeira, who also homered for the fifth time in four games. "You can score a lot of runs that way."
The Yanks' biggest hit of the afternoon might have been Gregorius' two-run single, which came as part of a five-run fourth inning against White Sox ace Jeff Samardzija. The red-hot shortstop knocked a pair of hits and scored three runs, and finished the trip 14-for-32 (.438) with 12 RBIs.
"I'm actually looking at it day by day," Gregorius said. "I don't look at it as how long it's been, but actually, for me, every day it's a little bit better. I'm trying to focus on the stuff I need to work on and trying to get better at everything. I'm making a lot of adjustments and I feel a little better at the plate."
Gregorius seems to be playing with more confidence on both sides of the ball, getting consistent reps against both righties and lefties, and this stretch may be his best of the season. Drew said that he senses a more relaxed attitude from Gregorius, who seemed to play tight at times after taking over shortstop duties from Derek Jeter.
"Earlier on, he had a tough time coming in and taking the shoes of the captain, and everybody was on him," Drew said. "He's Didi, and he's got great talent, and he's played a heck of a shortstop. Earlier on, it was here and there, but he's picked it up and it's been fun to watch. Now, his hitting is getting involved, too."
Headley extended his hitting streak to 11 games, knocking a single and double in four trips while scoring three runs. Drew finished a home run shy of the cycle, legging out a two-run triple as the Yankees pulled away with three runs in the seventh inning.
Drew acknowledged that the cycle was on his mind when he came to the plate in the ninth, but he struck out against right-hander Scott Carroll.
"I've done it before in my career, and it was a good day," Drew said. "Just trying not to do too much early on, then the last at-bat, it is what it is. For me, it's a huge win. It's one step closer to where we want to be."