Rivera closes out Yanks' sweep of White Sox
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - This is why Joe Girardi wants Mariano Rivera to stick around.
He's still so good at his job.
Rivera, the retiring all-time saves leader, put the brakes on a four-run White Sox rally in the eighth inning Wednesday night and earned a four-out save as the Yankees held on for a 6-5 win.
Girardi pulled ace CC Sabathia with runners at first and second and one out in the eighth inning, giving the ball to David Robertson for his second outing in 10 days.
After Robertson gave up three runs while only retiring one batter, Girardi called in Rivera, who struck out Alejandro De Aza with runners at first and second to get the Yankees out of the inning with that slim winning margin.
Rivera set down the White Sox in order in the ninth for his 41st save of the season and 649th of his career.
The stop came one day after Girardi said he didn't see a reason why Rivera, 43, had to retire after the season.
Robinson Cano had three hits, including a solo homer, and knocked in two runs for the Yankees, who completed a three-game sweep after being swept in three by the White Sox last month.
Sabathia (13-11) -- 3-1 in his previous four starts but with a 6.17 ERA -- was charged with three runs. He gave up five hits and four walks and struck out four but walked off to cheers with a 6-1 lead.
"He was at 110 pitches," said Girardi. "I thought he was fatiguing."
Robertson gave up runs on singles to Avisail Garcia, Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien and also walked a batter.
"It probably got a little closer than we would have liked," said Girardi, who made the move to put in Rivera. It was the lifetime Yankee's first four-out save since July 24, 2011.
On Tuesday, Girardi told ESPNNewYork.com of Rivera: "I don't see any reason why he couldn't do it next year, I don't. He's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to [return], but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do."
Girardi said he would likely talk to Rivera "at some point in the offseason."
"I'll tell him when the season's over, 'Take a month. Take a month and a half, two months, and make sure this is really what you want to do. Because once you do go, it's hard to come back.'"
The White Sox lost their sixth in a row. They had already been swept by the Red Sox on a 10-game road trip.
Erik Johnson (0-1) made his major league debut and took the loss, allowing five runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and three walks. The righty struck out one over six innings.
"To get us to the seventh that's good stuff for a young guy who hasn't been up here," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Brett Gardner's two-run triple to the left-center field gap was the big blow in a four-run fourth inning for the Yankees. Lyle Overbay had an RBI double in the inning and Cano singled to knock in a run and make it 5-1.
Alfonso Soriano's sacrifice fly in the seventh extended New York's lead to 6-1.
Earlier, the teams both scored a run in the first inning. Garcia hit an RBI double off Sabathia and Cano homered off Johnson on a first-pitch breaking ball with two outs.
The Yankees improved to 5-1 on a 10-game homestand that ends with four against the Red Sox beginning Thursday ... Rivera's four-out save in 2011 came against Oakland ... Both teams had eight hits.
09/05 00:54:44 ET