CHICAGO -- A ninth-inning meltdown by the Chicago White Sox led to the New York Yankees’ 4-3 victory in 10 innings Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.
How it happened: Ronald Belisario couldn’t hold a three-run lead in the ninth inning as the Yankees rallied to tie the game on a walk and four hits. Jacoby Ellsbury hit the go-ahead home run for the Yankees in the 10th inning off Zach Putnam. White Sox starter John Danks reversed his recent poor form to dominate over eight innings, giving up no runs on three hits. He had given up 21 runs over his previous four starts. Adam Eaton, Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo opened the game with hits for the White Sox and all three scored in the first inning. The White Sox never scored again.
What it means: The White Sox can’t find an answer to cover the ninth inning in games that they lead. Matt Lindstrom struggled early in the role, but seemed to be settling down before he suffered an ankle injury last weekend that required surgery. Belisario had not given up a run as a setup man since April 17, but has given up at least one run in all three of his save opportunities. The White Sox might be ready to move on to Putnam, Daniel Webb or Jake Petricka as their next closer.
Streak buster: The Yankees’ victory ended their eight-game losing streak at U.S. Cellular Field. The eight-game run was tied for the second longest such streak for the White Sox in team history.
Outside the box: The eight-inning outing was Danks’ longest of the season. Conversely, his 104 pitches were his fifth lowest in 10 starts. Why so efficient? Danks didn’t give up a walk after entering with 26 free passes, seventh most in the American League. Saturday was the first time Danks wasn’t scored upon in a start this season and the three hits tied a season low, also accomplished April 16 against the Boston Red Sox.
Off beat: Robin Ventura earned his first ejection of the season and eighth of his managing career in the second inning, arguing a call in the base paths. Adrian Nieto singled and was caught in between first and second base. In a rundown, Nieto avoided the tag to reach second base, but he was called out for running out of the base path. It was the White Sox's first ejection (player, coach or manager) this season.
Up next: The White Sox will send right-hander Andre Rienzo (4-0, 4.00 ERA) to the mound Sunday against New York in the finale of the four-game series. The Yankees will counter with right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (6-1, 2.39) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.