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(Monday, September 2nd)
Final Score: New York 9, Chicago 1
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - David Huff tossed 5 2/3 effective innings of relief and the New York Yankees erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth en route to a 9-1 rout of the Chicago White Sox that opened a three- game series.
After a rain delay of one hour and 53 minutes ended starter Phil Hughes' afternoon after just 1 1/3 innings, Huff (2-0) yielded only Paul Konerko's solo homer and four other hits in a superb fill-in effort.
Derek Jeter broke out of a slump with a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance that helped the Yankees move within 2 1/2 games of Tampa Bay for the American League's second wild-card spot.
"The more you play, obviously the more comfortable you get," Jeter said. "Today the results were there."
Brett Gardner also had a pair of hits, including an RBI double, and scored twice, with Austin Romine contributing a two-run single during New York's fourth-inning outburst.
Dylan Axelrod was charged with all eight runs -- six of which were earned -- in the fourth, and was tagged for eight hits in 2 1/3 innings after replacing Jose Quintana (7-5) following the stoppage.
New York had owned a 1-0 edge prior to the delay, having reached Quintana for a quick run when Gardner belted a leadoff double in the bottom of the first and came around on Jeter's single through the left side of the infield.
The score remained that way until the pivotal fourth, during which the first seven Yankee hitters reached base against Axelrod and New York sent 13 men to the plate in all.
After an Alex Rodriguez double, a base hit and a walk loaded the bases with none out, Mark Reynolds drove in the first run of the frame with an infield single in front of Romine's line-drive hit to center that brought home two more. Gardner's second double of the day plated Reynolds for a 5-0 lead, and Jeter followed with a single off Axelrod's glove that scored Romine from third.
Axelrod then managed to retire Robinson Cano and finally record the first out of the inning, but was tagged for an RBI double by Alfonso Soriano that extended the margin to 7-0. Two more runs were produced when White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn threw wildly after fielding a potential double-play grounder off the bat of Vernon Wells.
"We have to play better than that if we're going to expect to win games," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Huff, meanwhile, silenced Chicago's offense for the majority of his stint. The left-hander retired nine of the first 10 hitters upon taking over for Hughes and had permitted just three hits before Konerko drilled a first-pitch fastball into the seats with one out in the seventh to spoil New York's shutout bid.
Hughes had given up only one hit before having his outing cut short by the storm.
Yankees catcher J.R. Murphy singled in his first major league at-bat, which came as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He had been promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre when rosters expanded on Sunday ... Jeter's two hits gave him 3,313 for his career and tied with Hall of Famer Eddie Collins for ninth place on baseball's all-time list, while the New York captain's first- inning RBI was his 1,258th as a Yankee and moved him past Bernie Williams for sole possession of sixth place in club history for that category ... Chicago had won six consecutive meetings with New York, which included a three-game sweep in the Windy City last month ... Gardner now has doubled five times in the Yankees' last three games.
09/03 01:09:56 ET
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