NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Sale was cruising along toward his latest gem against the New York Yankees. The only thing he failed to do was finish them off.
Eduardo Nunez's two-run double capped a five-run eighth inning that rallied the Yankees past Sale and the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Tuesday night for a crucial victory as they chase an AL playoff berth.
Derek Jeter got the Yankees started on their vintage comeback, and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson tied the score with an RBI single. New York, which began the day 2½ games out of a wild-card spot, has won 12 of 14 home games and 16 of 23 overall.
"It was just one of those where you've got to kind of tip your hat to the Yankees. We didn't walk guys or make errors," Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko said. "They hit their way back into that game and won it. It's that simple."
Alexei Ramirez had a two-run triple and Alejandro De Aza homered to build a three-run lead for 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 had a 4-1 cushion when Jeter singled with one out in the eighth. Robinson Cano drove a 1-2 pitch off the left-field fence for a double — only 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 masterpiece 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.
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."
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