NEW YORK (AP) — Robin Ventura figured it was best to look forward after a particularly disheartening loss.
Derek Jeter ended a slump with two hits and two RBIs, Alex Rodriguez reached base twice in an eight-run fourth inning and the New York Yankees battered the sloppy Chicago White Sox 9-1 on Monday in a game interrupted nearly two hours by rain.
"We have to play better than that if we're going to start winning games," the White Sox manager said. "The rest of the way out we've got guys who you're kind of evaluating jobs for next year, so it just has to get better."
The White Sox committed two errors in allowing their biggest inning of the season and made three miscues overall in their fourth straight loss.
The only highlight worth discussing was Paul Konerko's 432nd career homer. The six-time All-Star passed Cal Ripken to take sole possession of 44th place on the home run list with his drive off David Huff (2-0) in the seventh inning.
"Any time you get mentioned with guys like that it's a cool thing," Konerko said.
A day after wasting a late lead in a loss to wild card-rival Baltimore, the Yankees rocked reliever Dylan Axelrod in their most productive inning since Oct. 1 to help end a six-game skid against Chicago.
With thunder clapping in the first inning, Jeter had a run-scoring single off Jose Quintana (7-5) to stop an 0-for-14 slide. It was the 3,313th hit of Jeter's career, tying him with Eddie Collins for ninth on the career list.
Ventura said he may bring Quintana back in a few days because of the brief outing.
The Yankees' bats made all the noise after a 1-hour, 53-minute delay.
Alfonso Soriano, Mark Reynolds Austin Romine, Vernon Wells, Brett Gardner and Jeter all drove in runs during the fourth-inning barrage to make it easy on David Huff (2-0), who entered for Phil Hughes with one out in the second when play resumed.
"Everybody got kind of loose after that inning," Romine said. "It was fun for us."
The Yankees looked as if they were eager to wipe out the memory of a sweep at the reeling White Sox from Aug. 5-7. New York, which entered Monday 3½ back for the second AL wild card, follows this series with 11 straight games against East rivals Boston and Baltimore.
"We've played better, there's no doubt about it. We've added a few pieces here since we played," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I feel a lot better."
Chicago ended a 10-game losing streak with the win Aug. 5 — the night of A-Rod's season debut — and then went on a nice run for the AL Central's last place team, going 16-7 until being swept by Boston last weekend.