Error Loading Widget: http://client.sportsdirectinc.com/client-widgets/baseball/matchupHeader/MLB/2015/383575
Error Loading Widget: http://client.sportsdirectinc.com/client-widgets/baseball/leadersForGame/MLB/2015/383575
NEW YORK -- On a day when the New York Yankees bullpen set a single season strikeout record, it seemed appropriate that their jack of all trades gave them a lead into the seventh inning.
Right-hander Adam Warren highlighted six effective innings in a spot start by striking out Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with the bases loaded in the fifth on Saturday in a 2-1 victory.
Warren, who began this season in as the Yankees' fifth starter before returning to late-inning relief, allowed one run and three hits. The run was a soft single by Abreu in the first when Warren allowed all of his hits.
He retired 11 in a row before issuing walks to third baseman Mike Olt, second baseman Carlos Sanchez and center fielder Adam Eaton. The less than ideal situation pushed Warren to the brink of potentially making the deficit even larger.
"You're trying not to think about it too much but after you walk that last guy, you're like really did I just walk everybody to get to probably their best hitter, one of the better hitters in the game," Warren said.
"For me it was more frustrating because I was like, 'OK let's get ahead of this guy.' I was just trying to execute pitches."
Instead, he got ahead of Abreu, who fouled off four straight pitches before striking out on a 93 mph fastball.
"I saw the replay and I realized I couldn't keep my bat behind," Abreu said through an translator.
Said Yankee reliever Justin Wilson: "Adam's kind of a jack of all trades for us. He's done everything and more for us, and it's awesome to have one of our bullpen guys go out there."
An inning after facing Abreu for the third time, the Yankees took the lead and turned it over to a bullpen that has helped them win 64 of 66 games when leading through six.
The Yankees grabbed the lead on consecutive RBI doubles by slumping third baseman Chase Headley and struggling designated hitter Alex Rodriguez.
"Probably not what we're trying to do," Headley said of the at-bat to Abreu. "He regrouped and really attacked him. Very impressive to bounce back and make a good pitch."
After Warren finished his 17th start, he turned things over to Wilson, Betances and Andrew Miller, who combined for three perfect innings.
They also combined for four strikeouts, giving the Yankees 573 for the season, surpassing the previous mark of 571 they set last year.
"Adam's been doing it all year," Betances said. "That's one guy who can start and relief. It's not an easy thing to do obviously to be asked to go back and forth but he's done a tremendous job."
The effectiveness on the mound and just enough big hits allowed the Yankees (85-69) to stay four games behind the Toronto Blue Jays with nine games remaining.
They also lowered their magic number for clinching a postseason spot to four.
While the Yankees enjoyed their performance, the White Sox were officially eliminated from the wild card race. They can win no more than 80 games and Houston has 81 wins for the second wild card spot.
"You're disappointed in that," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "You look at it away from the field, but during the game it didn't affect anything. We just lost."
Left-hander John Danks fell to 3-10 on the road and 1-6 in his last nine starts. He carried a shutout into the sixth but gave up three straight hits to open the inning.
After center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole second, Headley doubled to left field to make it a 1-1 game. Five pitches later, Rodriguez hit a ball which deflected off Olt's glove into left field and Headley scored
NOTES: The Yankees have not committed to when RHP Masahiro Tanaka (hamstring) will rejoin the rotation, because the only things he has done is play catch and throw a bullpen session. Manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka needs to do fielding drills and running before returning, but added that he was confident Tanaka would pitch again this season. ... New York RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow inflammation) played catch for the second straight day Saturday and will have Sunday off before the Yankees determine the next step. ... Chicago ended a nine-game losing streak in New York on Friday and it was the longest there since losing 11 in a row from Sept. 17, 1941 to Aug. 25, 1942. ... White Sox 2B Micah Johnson was held out of the lineup for the fifth straight game because of a knee issue.
Top Game Performances
|Chi. White Sox
Team Stats Summary