CHICAGO -- After a rough beginning with the White Sox, James Shields won his second straight start, an 8-2 victory over the Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday. And after a 10-26 record in a May-June stretch that seemed to put the South Siders out of contention, they have pushed their way back into the picture with 10 wins in their last 14 games and three straight.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia entered Monday's game with a 19-5 career mark against the White Sox, but gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings. The big southpaw yielded home runs to Tim Anderson in the third and Dioner Navarro in the fifth. Todd Frazier added three hits, including two doubles, drove in one, scored twice and reached base five times.
"It's been a really high and a really low roller coaster," Navarro said. "We've just got to even it up, and it's going to be like that, it's going to be like that throughout the whole season. We're doing a great job. We've been winning series and that's the name of the game."
Shields gave up some hard contact, but limited the Yankees to two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked two, posting a 3.06 ERA over his last three starts covering 17 2/3 innings. The Yankees scored first on Chase Headley's two-run homer in the second, bringing home Starlin Castro, who had two doubles among his four hits. New York went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
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"When guys got on base, he really bears down and did a good job of limiting the damage," Brett Gardner said. "We got some guys on base. We just weren't able to come through with the big hit to open things up."
"Sometimes you're going to give up homers --- 2-0, this team is a good hitting team," Shields said. "I knew we were going to get a good shot to come back. Guys did a great job of getting some runs and we played some really good defense."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The streak is over: Anderson went deep on the first pitch he saw from Sabathia with nobody out and Jason Coats on first in the third. Anderson's fourth home run not only tied the game, but it marked the White Sox first non-solo home run since June 23, when Jose Abreu launched a three-run shot in Boston. The team had matched a franchise record with 15 straight solo shots, originally set from Sept. 2-25, 1965, and has 23 homers (18 solo) over their last 13 games.
"It's somewhat what you expect. I think we're swinging it better, it's warmer, a lot of factors go into it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You like the way the guys have battled through it. Even when you're not swinging it well, you're still finding a way to keep fighting until you get there."
CC struggles again: For seven starts, Sabathia was the best pitcher in the Majors, compiling an 0.82 ERA from May 4 through June 16. It has been a different story over his last three outings, as he has surrendered 17 earned runs and four home runs over that span. He had permitted just 16 earned runs and two homers in his first 11 starts. The issues coincide with an injury to his right ankle sustained on June 22 against the Rockies.
"It is what it is. Three in a row where I haven't pitched good and can't keep the ball in the ballpark, and just not getting out of situations that I need to," Sabathia said. "It's just incredibly frustrating that we came out, had the lead early, and I couldn't hold it."
Surviving the sixth: Shields worked hard to escape a jam in the sixth, walking Headley after being ahead 0-2. Shields fell behind 3-0 to Aaron Hicks, but after working the count full, Shields induced a line shot to right-center grabbed by Coats to end the frame.
"I felt I was pounding the zone, trying to get ahead of hitters early in the game and a lot of ground balls," Shields said. "Even the home run I made a pitch that was probably on the black on the inside corner and he made a good swing on it, but overall it was pretty good."
Windy City 'Star': After calling the other side of Chicago home for the first six years, Castro seemed to enjoy his first trip back, going 4-for-4. The former Cub singled and scored in the second inning, doubled in the fourth, belted a ground-rule double in the sixth and singled in the eighth. It was his 13th career four-hit game and his second as a Yankee.
"Starlin had a great day at the plate, he swung the bat real well," Gardner said. "We just didn't get a whole lot going against [Shields]."
"I guess it's daddy strength kicking in." -- Anderson, on the surprise of his four homers in 104 at-bats. Anderson also has 12 multi-hit games in his first 23 played
"Once he starts getting hot our team is going to fly." -- Shields, on Frazier
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on catcher's interference in the fifth, marking the eighth time this season that he has done so. That is the most by any player in a single season since Roberto Kelly also had eight in 1992, with the Yankees. Ellsbury is the Yankees' all-time leader (12) and, with 22 for his career, trails only Pete Rose (29) on the all-time list.
"It's going to happen from time to time, but Ells gets more than anyone I've ever seen," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
TAKE A PITCH
Adam Eaton struck out in his first three plate appearances against Sabathia, and Sabathia needed nine pitches total to record the three. In Eaton's first at-bat, with Anderson on first, he tried to bunt with two strikes and bunted foul. But in Eaton's fourth at-bat, he doubled to left-center on the first pitch thrown to him, and in at-bat No. 5, he picked up a bunt single.
Yankees:Masahiro Tanaka, who is coming off one of his shakiest outings of the year, gets the call in Tuesday's 8:10 p.m. ET first pitch. The Rangers thumped Tanaka for six runs and eight hits over six innings on June 29 in New York. Tanaka last faced the White Sox on May 15 at Yankee Stadium, allowing four runs and eight hits over five innings to take a no-decision in the Yankees' 7-5 win.
White Sox:Carlos Rodon makes what could be his last start before the All-Star break on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT against the Yankees. Rodon has gone 1-2 with a 3.59 ERA, 40 hits allowed, 13 walks and 45 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings over his last seven starts at home (five quality).
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