Pinch-hit from Headley gets Yanks series win

May 15th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Pinch-hitter Chase Headley hit the first two-out pitch he saw from Matt Albers for a run-scoring double in the seventh, bringing in Didi Gregorius from first and giving the Yankees a one-run lead in a game that ended as a 7-5 victory over the White Sox on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. That gap shot to right-center also gave New York the series victory and sent the White Sox back to Chicago with a 2-4 road trip.

"We got up on top, they came back. It was a good battle back and forth," White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton said. "A couple of homers and timely hits on our part and we win the ballgame. They just had the timely hits on their part."

The White Sox held a 4-3 lead in the sixth, but Brett Lawrie committed a throwing error on a Jacoby Ellsbury grounder with one out against Dan Jennings. White Sox manager Robin Ventura elected to go with Zach Duke over Jennings against switch-hitter Carlos Beltran with two outs in the inning, with Beltran having five hits in 27 career at-bats against Duke. But Beltran connected for a two-run, go-ahead home run, the 400th homer of his career.

Melky Cabrera's double to left off Dellin Betances tied the game in the seventh before the Yankees pulled back ahead and gave the lead to Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, who notched his third save. Miguel Gonzalez started for the White Sox, allowing three runs and five hits over 4 2/3 innings while walking five and fanning one. Masahiro Tanaka worked five for the Yankees, giving up four runs on eight hits while striking out seven.

"I thought I could have gone more, but that control wasn't there," said Gonzalez, who threw 50 of his 91 pitches for strikes. "It's part of the game sometimes."


The Big 400: Beltran busted his way into the record books in a huge moment Sunday. Hitting right-handed against the left-hander Duke, Beltran ripped a two-seam fastball into the left-field seats, giving the Yankees a 5-4 lead. The home run was the 400th of Beltran's career, making him just the fourth switch-hitter to hit that mark, joining Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray, as well as Chipper Jones. He is the 54th overall member of the 400 home run club. More >

"I never thought I was going to be able to get to the point that I am now," Beltran said. "I knew I had a passion for the game of baseball, I've always been a hard worker. But when you accomplish something like this, it really means a lot for me, my family in Puerto Rico and to my country."

The long and the short of it: Eaton drove in two runs, and in doing so, showed his full arsenal of offensive capabilities. In the third, Eaton launched a 1-1 pitch from Tanaka for his second homer of the year. It had an exit velocity of 104 mph and a launch angle of 30 degrees, according to Statcast™. Eaton then used a perfectly placed safety-squeeze bunt to score Avisail Garcia with the tying run in the fourth.

Almost, but not quite: Betances struck out four in 1 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday, but he didn't have the same success Sunday when he allowed singles to Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier and Cabrera's game-tying double to start the seventh. With second and third and nobody out, though, Betances retired Lawrie on a grounder to Gregorius at shortstop with the infield in and struck out Garcia and Alex Avila to escape further damage.

"Our guys did a good job there against Betances," Ventura said. "We ended up tying it up. We couldn't push one across to go ahead, but I was just happy with the effort."

Staying a-Headley: It took Headley until his 91st at-bat before he notched his first extra-base hit of the season this year, but since he smacked that home run Thursday, he's been hot. Headley knocked his third extra-base hit in four days, this one a double, driving in Gregorius to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the seventh. More >

"When I'm comparing my swing now to 2012, when it was the best it's ever been, I'm doing a lot of things the same, and that was a big year for me," Headley said. "So that's probably the big thing."


"It gets unfortunate when you end up losing a game, a close one. For us, we'll clean it up and it will get better." -- Ventura, on a rare inconsistent defensive day for his team

"It just happens we were on the wrong end of things. That sums up our road trip." -- Eaton


Beltran became just the third Puerto Rican born player to hit 400 home runs. He joins Carlos Delgado and Juan Gonzalez in this company. He's also the fifth member of the elite group of ballplayers with 400 homers and 300 steals, joining Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.


Lawrie's sixth-inning error on the Ellsbury grounder marked the first White Sox miscue since April 30, when the team committed two. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that 12-game team streak represented the longest error-free run in franchise history.


In the top of the sixth inning with the White Sox holding a one-run lead, shortstop Tyler Saladino attempted to steal second base and was called safe by second-base umpire Marty Foster. Brian McCann's throw was a little off line, forcing Gregorius away from the bag and leading him to make an acrobatic catch and tag attempt from mid-air. Upon further review, the tag was actually successful, snagging Saladino's leg, and the call was overturned. 


White Sox: After Monday's off-day, Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.99 ERA) takes the mound for the series and 10-game homestand opener Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT against the Astros. Rodon is looking for his first win since April 13, when he hurled six scoreless innings against the Twins.

Yankees: Chad Green will make his MLB debut as the Yankees open a road trip against the D-backs on Monday at 9:40 p.m. ET. Green posted a 1.22 ERA in seven Triple-A starts this season.

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