Andujar lifts Yanks as Gray locks down Sox

August 8th, 2018

CHICAGO -- came through not once, but twice for the Yankees.
After leading off the seventh inning with his 15th homer of the season to tie Tuesday's game vs. the White Sox, Andujar drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the 13th as New York took down Chicago, 4-3, at Guaranteed Rate Field. Former starter picked up the win in relief, pitching three scoreless innings in extras.
"He's just been such a good player for us, and he's so good in the box," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Andujar. "The home run to get us tied earlier, a little while ago, and then off a lefty just changing speeds on him, able to get enough of it, yeah. The ability to make adjustments throughout the year has been impressive."

"To me, no matter what the situation is, you've got to do your job," Andujar said of the 13th inning through a team interpreter. "In that moment, I just tried to relax, stay calm, because that's what you want to do in situations like that."
The Yankees kept pace with the Red Sox, who defeated the Blue Jays, 10-7, in 10 innings. New York remains nine games back in the American League East.
Andujar's homer was his third in his last eight starts, which followed a stretch of 21 straight homerless starts (24 games) for the rookie. He finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

Much has been made of Andujar's defense this season, especially after the Yankees' series in Boston over the weekend. Andujar has made six errors since July 6, including two in Sunday's finale against the Red Sox, and was the designated hitter in New York's opening two games with Chicago.
Andujar, however, said he didn't feel like he needed to make up for anything that happened Sunday.
"Whatever happened in that game, it's over," Andujar said. "It's done with. Like I said before, you've got to turn the page and look forward to the next day, and that's what I've been trying to do. Just go out there and help the team."
White Sox starter held the Yankees bats silent through the first five innings, allowing three baserunners on two walks and a hit batter. broke up the potential no-no with a leadoff ground-rule double in the sixth.

On the mound, turned in his best start in a while, recording 12 strikeouts for the sixth time in his 18-year career. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. The one run marked the fewest Sabathia has allowed since his June 29 start against Boston.

"They came out swinging early so it made it easier," Sabathia said. "I was still a little more erratic than I wanted to be, walking the lefty [] twice, but I'm just working."
The Yankees nearly cashed in on Sabathia's start in the 10th, when hit a two-run homer to put New York up, 3-1. But Zach Britton blew his first save opportunity with New York, allowing a two-run home run to Abreu in the bottom of the frame.

"I've closed enough games to know that that first guy's important, and hitting [Narvaez] there is a guy I should get out," Britton said. "I put myself in a situation where I've got to face Abreu, didn't execute the pitch. That's what a good hitter does to a bad pitch."

Gray, in his first relief appearance since 2013, tossed three scoreless innings in a bounce-back performance from his tough stretch. Gray gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Orioles on Aug. 1, his last start before moving to the bullpen. But he said his outing Tuesday helped put the past behind him.
"For me the hardest part was that run in from the bullpen," Gray said. "It's a long way and the ump only let me throw three warmup pitches because the time ran out. I was just kind of like, 'Who cares?' Just attack guys and see what happens."

"I think you know everything that's happened the last five or six days," Gray added. "At the end of the day, I spoke to Boone and the guys and they let me know, 'Listen, we got your back.' It was nice to come up tonight in a situation like that and get it done."
Gray's performance also gave other Yankees reason to celebrate. Sabathia said he felt happy for Gray after the events of the past week.
"I think everybody in here is fired up for Sonny," Sabathia said. "The way he pitched tonight for us was huge, picking us up for him. It's been a rough week for him, but for him to come back and perform like that was huge."

Sabathia's 12-strikeout performance was the 39th time in his 18-year career he's tallied double-digit strikeouts. It's the sixth time he's struck out at least 12 opposing hitters. At 38 years and 17 days, Sabathia also became the oldest to reach 12 strikeouts in a game since Randy Johnson (44 years, 347 days) whiffed 13 for the D-backs in 2008.

The Yankees conclude their three-game set with the White Sox at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, sending (14-5, 3.08 ERA) to the mound at Guaranteed Rate Field. Severino has not been incredibly effective lately, owning an 8.28 ERA in his last five starts. He labored through 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox last time out, needing 115 pitches and giving up four runs. (7-8, 5.97) goes for the White Sox.