McCann’s pinch-hit HR lifts Yanks over WSox in 10
NEW YORK (AP) — Brian McCann began the day on the bench and ended it all wet, soaking up his best moment in pinstripes.
McCann lined a pinch-hit, three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning Sunday that gave the New York Yankees a 7-4 victory and a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox.
“It just shows you that he had stayed ready all day. Mentally, he was ready,” New York manager Joe Girardi said.
Ichiro Suzuki had a two-run single and Mark Teixeira hit an RBI double for the resurgent Yankees, who rallied against All-Star ace Chris Sale en route to their fourth straight victory following a 2-7 slide. Desperately chasing a playoff spot, they finished a 4-2 homestand against two losing teams by getting their second game-ending hit against Chicago in three days.
Carlos Beltran doubled off Jake Petricka (0-3) with two outs in the 10th, and Chase Headley was intentionally walked. McCann, batting for backup catcher Francisco Cervelli, laced a full-count changeup over the 314-foot sign in the right-field corner.
A fired-up McCann pumped his fist and shouted as he rounded first base, then threw down his helmet when he approached a swarm of happy teammates at home plate. Two buckets of liquid were dumped over his head. Someone even slapped a pair of sunglasses on his face.
“I don’t know what was going on. I just know that was an amazing moment I’ll never forget,” McCann said. “Walk-off home runs don’t happen in your career every day. So when you hit one, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.”
McCann joined the Yankees as a prized free agent last offseason, signing an $85 million, five-year contract. But his first year in New York hasn’t been easy, and he’s hitting only .235 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs.
“Just so exciting. He’s such a great presence in the clubhouse,” Yankees starter Chris Capuano said. “To watch him have that moment was great.”
Avisail Garcia hit a tying homer in the ninth for the White Sox, who have lost a season-high six in a row and 13 of 17 overall. Chicago has dropped its last eight games at Yankee Stadium since winning on June 29, 2012.
New York scored four unearned runs off Sale in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead, capitalizing on an error by left fielder Dayan Viciedo. Sale walked two batters and hit rookie Zelous Wheeler on the leg with a first-pitch breaking ball, forcing in a run.
“Things just kind of unraveled for me,” Sale said. “That stuff is going to happen. You have to find a way to get through that.”
Suzuki capped the outburst with a two-run single, making him the first left-handed batter to drive in a run against Sale since Minnesota star Joe Mauer on Aug. 17, 2013, according to STATS.
After striking out his first three times up, Garcia led off the ninth with a home run against Yankees closer David Robertson, who had converted 22 consecutive save chances since June 5 — the longest active streak in the majors.
David Huff (3-1) threw a called third strike past slugger Jose Abreu with two on to end the top of the 10th.
“I was trying to throw a ball there,” said Huff, who didn’t want to give Abreu anything to hit. “I was missing some spots, in a good way.”
Alexei Ramirez hit his first career leadoff homer and Conor Gillaspie had a two-run shot for the White Sox.
New York saluted White Sox captain Paul Konerko before his final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter presented Konerko with an encased and autographed base, and the two posed for photos behind home plate. “As far as that whole retirement thing, it is probably the highlight of the year for me so far,” Konerko said. “Definitely a classy move by them. I certainly did not expect it.”
White Sox: CF Adam Eaton (strained right oblique) went 2 for 5 with a double and a run Saturday night in the first game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. Eaton was scheduled to play for Charlotte again Sunday and probably Monday, manager Robin Ventura said.
Yankees: LF Brett Gardner sat out with a sore ankle on his 31st birthday. “We’re hoping it’s just today,” Girardi said. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka (elbow ligament) felt good after throwing 35 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Saturday and is scheduled for another simulated game Thursday in Detroit, Girardi said. ... RHP David Phelps (elbow inflammation) will stay home to play catch when the team goes on the road this week.
Chicago is off Monday before opening a seven-game homestand Tuesday night, with LHP Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.25 ERA) facing Cleveland LHP T.J. House (2-3, 3.80).
New York begins an important seven-game road trip Monday night with RHP Michael Pineda (2-2, 2.05 ERA) on the mound against Kansas City RHP James Shields (12-6, 3.28) in the makeup of a June 9 rainout. After that, the Yankees visit Detroit and Toronto.
Garcia hit an opposite-field shot to the short porch in right on Robertson’s first pitch. Robertson pitched in all three games during the series and ended up with a win, a save and a blown save.