Hughes, Yankees Steamroll Way Over Punchless Chisox


GAME 24
YANKEES 12, WHITE SOX 3

After experiencing on of the lowest points on Saturday, the New York Yankees dug deep down on Sunday and displayed their most dominant performance of the season.
Phil Hughes threw seven innings of shutout baseball and Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher each homered as the Yankees routed the White 12-3 at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes (3-0) gave up only four hits, walked one batter and struck out six to stay unbeaten on the season. Hughes lowered his ERA to 1.44 and he only has given up 10 hits in 25 innings this season. In contrast, White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (2-4) gave 10 hits to the Yankees in 4 2/3 innings.
With the victory, the Yankees won the three-game series from the White Sox and they have now won seven of their eight series this season. Their record improved to 16-8 and they remain 1 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The White Sox slipped to 10-15 in the A.L. Central.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Hughes is proving to be much more than a No. 5 starter. His 1.44 ERA is the best of any starter in the American League. Of the four hits Hughes gave up on Sunday, two were infield hits. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said “He’s probably the best guy we have faced this year. He has unbelievable stuff.”
  • Gardner’s legend continues to grow also. In his first game as the center fielder replacing Curtis Granderson, all Gardner did was single in a run in his first at-bat and hit his fourth career home run (his first of this season) in his second at-bat — both coming off left-hander Mark Buehrle. He is now 8-for-19 against left-handers this season (.421). Of course, this should not be a surprise. Gardner hit left-handers better than right-handers last season.
  • Cano’s magical and potential MVP season continues. All he did Sunday was double and score on Gardner’s RBI single in the second inning. He walked in the third inning and then drilled a three-run home run in the fifth to make the score 5-0. Cano is hitting a league-best .387 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs.
  • Now that the calendar has flipped to May, Mark Teixeira is in full bloom at the plate. He was 4-for-5 on Sunday with two runs scored and two RBIs. In his two games in May, Teixeira is hitting .667 (6-for-9) after hitting .136 in April, his worst April ever.
  • Swisher was 3-for-4 and raised his batting average to .282. He now has four home runs and 15 RBIs on the season by virtue of his two-run home run in the sixth inning that made the score 7-0.
  • Nick Johnson contributed a two-run double in the seventh inning. Johnson has been struggling with getting hits. His average is still at a lowly
    .141.
THE NEGATIVES

  • There can’t be many but there are a few. Marcus Thames, playing left field as part of what will be a platoon between Randy Winn and him, went 0-for-4.
  • Ramiro Pena, starting at third base in place of a resting Alex Rodriguez, was 0-for-5 and committed an error when he shifted to shortstop for Derek Jeter.
  • Mark Melancon, called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Granderson on the roster, gave up the shutout in the ninth inning after being burned by Pena’s error and allowing an Andruw Jones single. Melancon grooved a 1-1 fastball and Paul Konerko made him pay with his A.L.-leading 12th home run of the season.
DIAMOND NOTES

Granderson was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a Grade 2 strain of his left groin. Although there is no official timetable for his return, manager Joe Girardi said it would be at least a month before he is able to return. Thames and Winn will split time in left field while Gardner replaces Granderson in center. The Yankees will keep Melancon on the roster as a 13th pitcher until Girardi determines a need for another position player.  . . .  The Yankees’ 12-run, 16-hit attack on Sunday was even more impressive in knowing that Granderson was on the DL and Rodriguez was taking a day off. Swisher replaced Rodriguez in the cleanup spot and Pena played third base. Rodriguez is batting .258 with only two home runs this season.  . . .  Girardi still would not say whether Javier Vazquez will make his next scheduled start against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday. Vazquez is 1-3 with a 9.78 ERA after five starts. Girardi told reporters that he is not sure what the problem with Vazquez is but “whatever it is we have to fix it.”  . . .  I hate to bring this up after such a convincing victory but the Yankees decided to let Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon walk as free agents and they traded Austin Jackson in the deal for Granderson. Now we have a DH who is hitting .144 (Johnson) and center fielder out for a month (Granderson). Jackson is hitting .357 and Damon is hitting .326 with the Tigers. Meanwhile, Matsui is hitting .260 with four home runs and 13 RBIs for the Angels. Who can say the Yankees would not be better off with any one or all three of these players back?
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will stay at home to start a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. It is a rematch of last week’s series in Baltimore.
The Yankees will send CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.12 ERA) to the mound in the opener. Sabathia was tagged for three runs and 11 hits in his April 28 start against the Orioles. But he ran his career record against the Orioles to 10-1 because the Yankees backed Sabathia with eight runs on 15 hits. His 10 wins against the Orioles is the most he has against any A.L. East opponent.
The Orioles will counter with a pitcher who is not real popular with Girardi right now: Jeremy Guthrie (0-3, 4.70 ERA). Guthrie raised Girardi’s ire first by plunking first baseman Mark Teixeira in the last week of spring training. Then Guthrie hit Jorge Posada behind the right knee in his last start and put Posada out for three games. Guthrie lost that same April 28th start against Sabathia by giving up seven runs (six earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Guthrie is 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA in 13 games against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

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