Yankees score seven runs in eighth inning, trounce White Sox 15-7
Dylan Cease had the 11th double-digit strikeout game of his career, tying him with Billy Pierce for eighth on the White Sox’ all-time list.
Yoan Moncada tied it up, then Joe Kelly gave it up by walking the bases full of Yankees.
And in a good first test against the best the American League has to offer, that is never a good idea.
The White Sox went down with a thud in a 15-7 loss.
After Moncada forged a tie with his first home run, a three-run shot to center in the seventh inning, Kelly walked three straight Yankees after retiring the first two in the eighth, setting the stage for a seven-run blitz from baseball’s hottest team.
Aaron Judge legged out a two-run infield single. Gleyber Torres ignored third-base coach Luis Rojas’ stop sign as first baseman Jose Abreu questioned the safe call and slid home safely for a 9-7 lead on the play.
After Anthony Rizzo walked, Kelly’s fourth of the inning, Giancarlo Stanton added a two-run single and Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer against left-hander Tanner Banks.
“That eighth inning, two outs and nobody on base, the way the ball is coming out of Joe’s hand, look up there and see a seven spot, you had to see it to believe it,” manager Tony La Russa said.
La Russa said he pitched the lefty rookie Banks because at that point he wanted to keep Kendall Graveman fresh for Friday, and he was saving right-hander Matt Foster for a potential 10th inning.
“At that point, we’re already down; I don’t want to use up an arm,” La Russa said.
Donaldson’s homer was the Yankees’ fourth of the night. Stanton (six RBI) had two two-run homers against Sox starter Dylan Cease. Judge homered against reliever Ryan Burr.
In four innings, Cease was good and bad. The 11th double-digit strikeout game of his career tied him with Sox great Billy Pierce for eighth on the franchise list. The 11 strikeouts also tied his career high.
“They really capitalized well tonight,” Cease said. “So it’s definitely the weirdest stat line I’ve ever been a part of.”
Cease was tagged for six runs and left trailing 6-4. AJ Pollock’s RBI double and Leury Garcia’s two-out, two-run double in the second and a run-scoring wild pitch by right-hander Luis Gil produced the Sox’ first four runs.
The Yankees are 16-2 in their last 18 games. The Sox (15-15) lost for the second time in nine games.
“Free passes are not it,” said Kelly, who made his second appearance of the season. “I’ll go back and look and see what I was doing mechanically. But sometimes you just gotta pitch better.”
Extra day for Giolito; Cueto in wings
Lucas Giolito will start against the Royals on Monday, when the Sox open a five-game series and eight-game road trip that concludes against the Yankees next weekend. Pushed ahead one day, Giolito (8-4, 3.43 ERA in 17 starts against the Royals) seems a good bet to go deep into a game that precedes a doubleheader Tuesday, manager Tony La Russa said.
“Always a concern about the doubleheader on Tuesday,” La Russa said.
Cease is pegged for one of the games Tuesday with Johnny Cueto as one candidate to pitch the other. Cueto allowed two earned runs, three hits and a walk while striking out six in 5„ innings in his fourth start Wednesday for Triple-A Charlotte.
La Russa wouldn’t commit to Cueto, only saying, “we’re expecting that sooner rather than later.” Until it’s official, “we can only just pencil him in,” he said.
Vaughn homers twice; Lopez improving
Andrew Vaughn (bruised right hand) homered twice and walked twice in his second rehab game for Charlotte on Thursday. La Russa said Vaughn, who played right field, could be back “as early as Kansas City,” then didn’t rule out Vaughn this weekend.
“We’re watching it closely — as soon as he feels he’s 100%,” La Russa said.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (lower back) was much better but not yet available.
Guardians makeup game
Wednesday’s postponed game with the Guardians will be made up as part of a split doubleheader July 23, the first Saturday after the All-Star break.
The game was shelved because numerous members of the Guardians’ coaching staff, including manager Terry Francona, tested positive for COVID-19.
The doubleheader start times are 12:10 p.m. (NBCSCH) and 6:15 p.m. (Fox)