NEW YORK -- The Yankees found out in a big way why left fielder Eloy Jiménez is the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball and why the White Sox gave him a six-year, $46 million contract before he played a regular-season game. Jimenez hit two monster home runs and
NEW YORK -- The Yankees found out in a big way why left fielder Eloy Jiménez is the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball and why the White Sox gave him a six-year, $46 million contract before he played a regular-season game. Jimenez hit two monster home runs and drove in three runs as the White Sox defeated the Yankees, 9-6, in a rain-shortened affair at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
With the score tied at 5 in the fifth inning, Jimenez took over the game. Yoán Moncada singled to left field off left-hander J.A Happ, who then left the game in favor of right-hander Jonathan Holder. Jimenez came to the plate and swung at a 2-1 pitch, lifting the ball into Monument Park to give Chicago a two-run lead. It traveled a projected 425 feet and came off the bat at 109 mph, per Statcast.
“How about that kid? He played a pretty good game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said about Jimenez. “He has a lot of talent. He had a really nice game for him.
“It was nice to see it. Again, over time, he will have good days and bad days. Today was a good day.”
Jimenez was given the silent treatment by his teammates before a celebration ensued in the White Sox dugout.
“I [felt] good. I got the first one out of the way, and [there will be] many [more] to come,” Jimenez said.
The Yankees made it a one-run game in the sixth inning on a Gio Urshela single, but Jimenez worked his magic again with the bat in the top of the seventh off right-hander Chad Green. Jimenez smashed his second homer in a steady rain, giving the White Sox a two-run lead. Jimenez sent a 1-1 pitch into the Chicago bullpen in left-center, a projected 446 feet from home plate with an exit velocity of 111 mph.
“We have been waiting for that,” said Lucas Giolito, who tossed a five-inning start and won his second game of the season. “He has ridiculous power. He had been hitting a bunch of singles, kind of warming up to start the year. Now he is busting out. It’s really good to see another bopper.”
The home run balls were retrieved, and Jimenez plans to put them in his bedroom, as well as his bat.
“I’m going to look at the bat every single day,” Jimenez said.
At 22 years, 136 days old, Jimenez became the youngest White Sox player with two home runs in a game since Harold Baines on Sept. 7, 1980 (21 years, 176 days old).
"He showed his power,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “ A couple of pitches looked like they were right down the middle, and he didn't miss them, to the big part of the field. They were mistakes that he was able to capitalize on."
James McCann immediately followed Jimenez's second homer in the seventh with his first White Sox blast before rain delayed the game. After 41 minutes, the game was called.The White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak and improved their record to 4-8.
“These guys really don’t quit,” Renteria said. “I think the reality is, you have to play clean baseball. We had a pretty rough seven or eight days prior to this game. Even today, we made mistakes, but all in all, they keep battling and we keep trying to improve and build on this one and move forward.”
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.