NEW YORK (AP) — Down by three against an All-Star pitcher who's had their number in the past, the New York Yankees put together a vintage comeback that kept them on track in the playoff chase.
Eduardo Nunez's two-run double capped a five-run eighth inning that rallied New York past the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Tuesday night for its 12th victory in 14 home games.
Derek Jeter got the Yankees started — just like old times — and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson tied the score with an RBI single. New York, which began the day 2½ games out of an AL wild-card spot, has won 16 of 23 overall.
"It's a great win for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "We're trying to gain ground on teams, and every game is important."
Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run triple and Alejandro De Aza homered to build a three-run lead for ace Chris Sale, but the last-place White Sox couldn't hold it. They dropped their fifth straight to start a 10-game trip against AL East contenders.
Sale was cruising along with a 4-1 cushion until Jeter singled with one out in the eighth. Robinson Cano drove a 1-2 pitch off the left-field fence for a double — the third extra-base hit off Sale by a left-handed batter all season.
"Just left a bad pitch to a great hitter and that's what happens," Sale said. "I'm honestly lucky that the ball didn't leave the park, as hard as he hit it."
That got the crowd back in it and took Sale out of the game — which was great news for the Yankees. The left-hander entered 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA and 24 strikeouts in two career starts against them, and was working on another gem until the eighth.
Alfonso Soriano grounded an 0-2 delivery from Nate Jones (4-5) up the middle for a two-run single that cut it to 4-3. Alex Rodriguez's single put runners at the corners, and Granderson lined a tying single off left-hander Donnie Veal.
"I think the big thing was, let's just see if we can get a couple on and go from there," Granderson said. "Things just slowly started to chip away, and we were able to get Nunez up there to get a big hit and put us on top."
Mark Reynolds struck out before Nunez roped a double off Matt Lindstrom into the left-field corner, putting New York ahead 6-4 in a half-inning that lasted 32 minutes.
"It was a 95 mph two-seam fastball that was 3 inches off the inside corner. I don't know how he kept it fair. He swung the bat vertically," Lindstrom said. "I don't know if they were picking up our signs or what. ... It didn't go our way to say the least, but I made my pitch and it makes you wonder sometimes."