Andy Pettitte was bound to have a rough start, and as far as this season goes, this was his roughest. The White Sox scored three runs in the first off Pettitte, the big blow of the inning was a two-run homer by Paul Konerko on a hanging slider, that landed just out of the reach of a leaping Nick Swisher. It was his league-leading 11th of the season. They White Sox didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball in the inning, Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham both reached on bloops singles, and Konerko's homer is a long fly ball in a lot of stadiums. Andy would allow one more run in the second on a sac fly by Beckham before he settled down.
It was a run that probably shouldn't have scored. Catcher Donny Lucy led off the inning with a double and Juan Pierre walked to put runners on first and second. Alexei Ramirez then hit a grounder to Alex Rodriguez that should have been an easy double play. A-Rod went to tag Lucy as he ran to third, but the catcher avoided the tag and the Yanks were only able to get one out on the play at second. The only problem is that Lucy clearly ran out of the baseline and should have been called out, making it two out with a runner on first instead of first and third with one out. I blame A-Rod and Joe Girardi for not making a bigger deal about it on the field, but the ump had a clear view and blew the call. Beckham was the next batter and hit the sac fly. But like I said, Pettitte was able to settle down and hold the White Sox at four, allowing the Yankees to get back in the game.
They started their comeback in the bottom of the first. Derek Jeter, who had a huge night, starting things off with a single. Then, after a Nick Johnson strikeout--boy does he suck right now--Mark Teixeira walked. A-Rod then got the Yankees on the board with an RBI double, and Robinson Cano followed with an RBI single to cut the Sox lead to 3-2. A-Rod's double broke an 0-for-19 slump, while Cano's hit extended his hitting streak to nine.
After Chicago's run in the second, Pettitte and White Sox starter Freddy Garcia traded zeros until the bottom of the fifth. With nobody on and two out in the inning, Brett Gardner singled to bring Jeter up as the tying run. After Gardner stole his tenth base of the year, Jeter took a hanging curve and launched it into the seats in left for a two-run homer to tie the game.
Gardner and Jeter teamed up again in the seventh, this time against left-hander Matt Thornton. With nobody on and Francisco Cervelli on first after being hit by a pitch, Gardner put together the at-bat of the night. After falling behind 1-2 he battling back to run the count full, and then line a 95 mph fastball up the middle for a single. Impressive AB for Gardner, especially when you consider it was against a hard-throwing lefty. Jeter then stepped to the plate and came through once again, this time lining two-run triple into the right field corner to give the Yanks a 6-4 lead. The Captain finished the night going 3-for-4, with 4 RBI, and was a double away from the cycle. The three hits also moved Jeter to2778 for his career, moving him past Ken Griffey Jr. as baseball's active hits leader. Gardner and Jeter also combined for five of the Yankees seven hits.
Pettitte would eventually stay in the game through six. He threw 97 pitches, 66 for strikes, and allowed the four runs on seven hits, walked two, and struck out three. It wasn't a great start, but he kept the Yanks in the game, and when you don't have your best stuff that's really all you can hope for.
After Pettitte left the game, Joe Girardi called on Alfredo Aceves. Ace pitched a scoreless seventh, which was good enough for his second win of the season. Damaso Marte and Joba Chamberlain combined to throw a scoreless eighth. Mariano Rivera then closed things out with a scoreless ninth for his seventh save of the season. It was a very nice night for the bullpen after a pretty rocky road trip.
Javier Vazquez look to turn things in the right direction as he takes the mound tomorrow afternoon in game two of this series against Chicago's ace John Danks. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.