A night after Aaron Boone said the Yankees were “sluggish” and called their performance toward the end of Monday’s loss “crappy,” his team looked ready to repeat the effort on Tuesday.
But a pair of two-run homers by Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks sparked a comeback before Neil Walker ended it with a pinch-hit, one-out homer in the ninth off Dylan Covey, as the Yankees overcame a four-run deficit to beat the White Sox, 5-4, on a steamy night in The Bronx.
After Hicks’ homer in the eighth, Gleyber Torres singled with two outs to bring up Greg Bird, who had a chance to give the Yankees their first lead, but he popped out to short left, where shortstop Tim Anderson made the catch in front of a sliding Nicky Delmonico.
That hardly mattered, as Boone went to Walker to hit for Ronald Torreyes after Austin Romine started the ninth with a strikeout, and Walker delivered a homer on the first pitch he saw.
After giving up the game’s first run in the top of the fifth, Lance Lynn was knocked out in the sixth after allowing a pair of two-out singles.
Jonathan Holder came on and gave up consecutive hits that knocked in three runs and put the Yankees in a four-run hole.
The Yankees entered the game 8-1 when Lynn or other new arrival J.A. Happ had started since getting to The Bronx.
Lynn didn’t have much help early on, as James Shields shut down the Yankees until the sixth.
Shields allowed just one hit until Brett Gardner started the bottom of the sixth with a triple, but the struggling Giancarlo Stanton popped out, as did Hicks. Andujar followed with a two-run shot to left. His 22nd homer of the year got the Yankees to within 4-2.
Luke Voit singled to center and Torres walked on four pitches.
That set up Bird against lefty Jace Fry. Bird, booed throughout the game, lined a shot to right-center, but Avisail Garcia tracked it down.
Stanton singled to start the bottom of the eighth and Hicks tied it with a shot to right, his 22nd, as well.
The game got off to a rough start for the Yankees, as Chicago’s Yolmer Sanchez led off with a grounder to second, but Bird somehow dropped Torreyes’ perfect throw from second. In addition to a horrendous slump, Bird has also been dreadful defensively for much of the season.
Lynn pitched around the error and retired the next three batters he faced.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Stanton laced a liner to center. Adam Engel initially broke in on the ball and then stumbled and fell to the ground. He managed to get back up to make a fine catch.
Matt Davidson opened the second with a shot to right. Stanton raced back and got a glove on it, but wasn’t able to make the catch and it went for a double. He moved to third on an Omar Narvaez slow roller that Bird fielded cleanly.
With the infield in, Lynn fanned Anderson for the second out and got Yoan Moncada to fly to right.
The White Sox threatened again in the third, in part because of more shoddy defense. With two out and one on, Andujar bungled a slow chopper by Garcia for his 14th error of the season. Lynn then walked Daniel Palka on four pitches to load the bases for Davidson.
But Lynn got Davidson to ground to short and the game remained scoreless.
The Yankees, meanwhile, had only two base runners in the first three innings.
Chicago broke through in the fifth, as Delmonico singled with one out and Garcia followed with a double down the left-field line that was fumbled by Gardner in left. Andujar helped atone for his earlier miscue by stabbing Davidson’s hard grounder to his left, making the play for the final out of the inning.
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