Mariano Rivera gets four-out save as Yankees beat White Sox

 

A month from now, the Yankees will be preparing for the division series after winning the play-in game, lamenting what went wrong while losing that game or regretting the games they lost against inferior teams which kept them out of the playoffs for just the second time since 1993.

The Yankees are doing their best to reach at least the first two scenarios and avoid the third, which is why sweeping the White Sox was of the utmost importance. Not only for the present but also because three of their most regrettable losses occurred in Chicago nearly a month ago.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the White Sox with Wednesday night’s 6-5 victory — a run perfectly timed with four games coming up against the Red Sox this weekend and three more in Boston next weekend.

“It’s extremely important,” manager Joe Girardi said of the upcoming series. “It’s a tough series. They’re playing well. They’re swinging the bats well and they’ve been a team that we’ve been chasing all year, so obviously it’s important to get to where we really want.”

Since that embarrassing sweep in Chicago against a team that had a 10-game losing streak, the Yankees have gone from one game over .500 (57-56) to 11 over at 75-64. During this run of 18 wins in 26 games, the Yankees have done most of the damage against teams they should beat at home by taking three of four from the Angels, sweeping four against the Blue Jays while taking two of three from Detroit and Baltimore.

The win Wednesday almost became something to add to the regrettable loss category in the eighth when CC Sabathia tired after going 7 1/3 innings. After Sabathia’s longest outing in nearly a month, David Robertson allowed a two-run, bases-loaded single to Josh Phegley followed by an RBI single to Marcus Semien.

“It was a tough inning,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t make anything work. It seemed like anything I threw either got put in play, found a hole or was hit hard. It was tough.”

“We brought in guys that have done the job all year and we eventually got it done but it probably got closer than all of us would have liked,” Girardi said.

Robertson’s struggles forced Mariano Rivera to come in for a four-out save, which is something the Yankees would have preferred to do against the Red Sox. But with two on and two out it was something the Yankees could not worry about.

Rivera made the Yankees and crowd of 36,082 exhale when Alejando De Aza stared at a 3-2 cutter on the outside corner of the plate. De Aza argued briefly with plate umpire Tim Welke but it did not matter and the Yankees were on their way once again.

“I always hate to leave in the middle of an inning, especially with runners on base and put D-Rob in a tough situation,” Sabathia said. “It’s just frustrating on my part.

“I really didn’t know how many pitches I had. At this point, I’m not at liberty to argue with [Girardi] with the way I pitched this year.”

He and the Yankees would have been mouthing some choice words had the lead totally evaporated, which is why Rivera came in with four outs remaining.

“As much as I need to and feel that he’s capable of doing it,” Girardi said of Rivera.

“We need to do whatever it takes,” Rivera said. “Two outs, three outs, whatever it takes.”

Before that minor scare in the eighth, the Yankees continued their theme of big innings in this series. They had an eight-run fourth Monday and a five-run eighth Tuesday. It was four-run fourth, when eight men came to the plate, that ultimately paved the way for the win on Wednesday.

The Yankees didn’t crush hits but they didn’t have to. They just had to place them in the right spots while taking advantage of a mistake.

The key mistake that aided the Yankees was rookie starter Erik Johnson fielding a broken bat comebacker by Ichiro Suzuki and making a bad throw to first base. Three pitches later, the Yankees had the lead on Lyle Overbay’s double to right field and a few minutes later, it was 4-1 on Brett Gardner’s triple that got wedged under the left field wall for a few seconds.

The Yankees made it 5-1 on a hard-hit single by Robinson Cano that deflected off Johnson toward third base. Cano raced out of the box and barely beat the throw as Gardner crossed the plate.

Alfonso Soriano added a sacrifice fly, which ultimately proved to be the winning run.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.