White Sox head home after rough road trip
NEW YORK – Paul Konerko didn't hold back when describing how awful this road trip was.
"It was more of a collapse," he said after the Chicago White Sox were roughed up by the New York Yankees 12-3 Thursday night to complete a 3-8 trip.
Edwin Jackson pitched four hitless innings, then gave up a leadoff homer to Brett Gardner in the fifth. The Yankees then sent eight more batters to the plate and scored six runs without making an out before Gardner came up again and struck out.
"It's been a bad couple of weeks," Konerko said. "It's been bad up to this point as a whole this season, but that doesn't mean tomorrow has to be (the same way). It's way too early to get discouraged or to say, 'OK, this is the team for the season.'"
The White Sox took the first two games of the series thanks to solid starting pitching. But Chicago slumped mightily on a trip in which it scored more than three runs in only one game.
The White Sox didn't score until the seventh Thursday, and all three runs were earned.
"Terrible. We finished the way we started — very bad," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Hopefully, things turn around when we go home."
Chicago returns home for a six-game homestand before heading out for nine more games on the road. The White Sox have lost 12 of 15 overall.
CC Sabathia pitched seven sharp innings to beat a familiar foe and help New York gain a split of the four-game series. Nick Swisher hit his first homer in 76 at-bats this season and he, Eduardo Nunez and Gardner scored three runs apiece. Every Yankees starter except Nunez had at least one RBI.
Curtis Granderson tripled, Alex Rodriguez and Nunez each hit a double, and Swisher broke an 0-for-19 skid with a single in the fifth.
With Derek Jeter getting a planned day off and Mark Teixeira out with a sore shoulder, the Yankees struggled against Jackson (2-3) through the first four innings. But they did score twice in the third when Jackson walked four and threw a wild pitch as a light drizzle fell at Yankee Stadium. Robinson Cano, moved to third from fifth in the lineup, hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
"He just was a little wild tonight and we took advantage of it," Swisher said. "We tried to make him bring it to the plate."
When he did, the Yankees pounced for six runs in the fifth, driving Jackson from the game without getting an out.
Jackson gave up four hits and six runs in four-plus innings. He walked a season-high five.
Sabathia (2-1) improved to 17-4 against the White Sox in 30 career starts, a team he faced often with Cleveland in the AL Central. He is one of two pitchers in big league history who has at least 25 starts and four or fewer losses against Chicago, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Filling in at shortstop, Nunez made two errors, a fielding error to start the game and a throwing miscue that led to three unearned runs in the seventh.
Sabathia gave up seven hits and no earned runs. He struck out six and walked one.
On Monday, Phil Humber held New York hitless into the seventh, and the Yankees had scored just five runs in the first three games of the series. That all changed in the fifth.
Tony Pena relieved Jackson and left with discomfort in his right elbow. He will have it checked when the team returns to Chicago and is day to day.
Alex Rios left the game for a pinch-hitter in the eighth because he aggravated his sore left big toe. He'll also be examined in Chicago.
Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin had RBI hits with two outs in the White Sox seventh. The third run scored when Quentin tried stretching his drive off the wall in right but was caught in a rundown between first and second.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Jake Peavy is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. His outing in Double-A on April 18 was cut short because of discomfort in his surgically repaired right shoulder. ... The White Sox will unveil a plaque to commemorate the "Hawk Harrelson Broadcast Level" at U.S. Cellular Field. Harrelson is in his 26th season as a White Sox broadcaster. ... George Pipgras was 19-4 against the White Sox in 28 career starts, according to Elias.