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White Sox begin rugged stretch with come-from-behind win over Yankees

Tim Anderson hit a three-run, game-tying home run and Leury Garcia broke the tie in a 5-4 victory.

Tim Anderson blasts a three-run home run in the fifth inning Thursday.
Tim Anderson blasts a three-run home run in the fifth inning Thursday.
Getty Images

The White Sox will see what they’re made of these last two-plus weeks of June.

They showed 25,311 fans Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field that it might be a little more than you’d expect.

Kicking off a 15-game stretch against the Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox and Twins — not a weak matchup among them — the Sox rallied for a 5-4 victory against the Yankees and pulled it off without their closer.

“It doesn’t matter who it is; we’re going to compete and try to get a win,” shortstop Tim Anderson said before he lined a game-tying three-run homer against J.A. Happ in the fifth inning. “Just because they’re the Yankees, they don’t scare us.”

Leury Garcia’s leadoff homer to right-center against Adam Ottavino on an 11-pitch at-bat in the seventh broke the tie. Josh Osich, Evan Marshall, Kelvin Herrera and Aaron Bummer combined for 3„ scoreless innings of relief.

The Sox aren’t afraid, nor should they be. They’ve been swept by the Rays and Twins but split a four-game series in Houston against the Astros, the best team in the American League, three weeks ago. They improved to one game below .500 at 33-34, nine games better than they were a year ago at 24-43.

It hasn’t hurt that they were able to beef up on the struggling Royals (eight wins in 12 games) and regressing Indians (seven wins in 12 games), but wins are wins. When you’re a bad team, you lose to teams like those.

When you’re not so bad anymore and on the rise, as the Sox seem to be, you see what you’ve got against the better clubs.

Like the Yankees, who are 41-26 after losing to the Sox for the third time in four games.

‘‘They’ve been a championship organization for a long time,’’ Sox manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘You look at all the best organizations, and you want to be the best and strive to be compared to those clubs.”

“We talked about that before the game, the importance of this weekend for us,” Garcia said. “We know we’re facing a very good team.”

Ivan Nova pitched 5‰ innings of four-run ball, the 42nd time in 67 starts that a Sox pitcher had failed to get a quality start. Nova allowed two runs in the second, then Brett Gardner’s two-run homer in the fourth to put the Sox in a 4-0 hole.

The Sox waited till the fifth to get to Happ. Yolmer Sanchez walked and Ryan Cordell singled to open the inning, and Garcia doubled home Sanchez before Anderson — batting second in the lineup against Happ, a lefty — connected for his 10th homer.

Osich got one out, and Marshall (2-0) earned the win in relief for the second straight game while keeping his ERA at 0.00 through 16 appearances this season. Marshall struck out Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks in the seventh.

In perhaps the most encouraging relief performance of the night, Herrera (6.58 ERA) struck out the side in the eighth, touching 99 mph with one pitch.

“It’s like Kelvin’s back,” Renteria said.

Bummer picked up his first career save as Renteria rested closer Alex Colome, who threw 39 pitches in a victory against the Nationals two days ago. The Sox are 26-0 when leading after seven innings.

“I know I put Alex in a pretty tricky spot two days ago,” Bummer said. “Made him come in and get five outs, and knowing [Renteria] trusted me to get the last three outs after Tuesday, it feels good. It’s just like your first big-league win, your first big-league save. It’s awesome.”