The four-game losing streak is no more. After dragging through a rough opening to the homestand, the Yankees got things back in order and absolutely shut down the White Sox’ offense. Unfortunately they also took a while to get their own bats active, but they found their moment to strike and took the lead for good.
Things were in a lull through six innings, but the Yankees got off to a quick start in the seventh inning. Gleyber Torres knocked a base hit to start the inning and finally drive Ivan Nova out of the game, and Greg Bird was fortunate when his ground ball was botched by Yolmer Sanchez attempting to go to second.
Clint Frazier kept the momentum going with a single to right, setting up pinch-hitter Luke Voit with the bases loaded and no outs. Voit delivered another single, this one a soft flick to center that brought the first run of the game home. Kyle Higashioka came up next and lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home a second run, and Tyler Wade dropped a sacrifice bunt to third that pushed home a third run. The entire inning was antithesis to the Yankees’ norm, but it was exactly what they needed to break the scoreless draw.
Aaron Judge restored some normality in the eighth with an insurance solo-home run. The Yankees handed their four run lead to Aroldis Chapman, and Chapman worked quickly to shut the door on the Sox, picking up a strikeout and two groundballs to close things out.
If you were wondering what happened during the previous six innings, the answer is not much offensively. Nova was able to frustrate the Yankees lineup until his removal in the seventh, and CC Sabathia was incredibly sharp in his season debut. Sabathia made history by becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to allow only one baserunner in their first start of the season.
Sabathia didn’t last long enough to earn the win however, getting taken out after a precautionary 62 pitches for his first start. Domingo German and Zack Britton had to bridge the gap between Sabathia and Chapman, and they continued the dominant pitching performance. Neither allowed a baserunner, and German picked up four strikeouts in his two innings of work.
The Yankees are now done with their losing streak, and will have a chance to chain some wins and take the series finale Sunday. The bullpen got taxed slightly, but enough members should be available to back up Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees are still looking for their first series victory at home, so this will be a crucial step forward.