(AP) CC Sabathia became the majors’ first 18-game winner, Marcus Thames hit two of New York’s four homers and the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 12-9 on Saturday night.
Eduardo Nunez hit his first career homer and drove in four runs for New York, which remained tied with Tampa Bay for the AL East lead. Nick Swisher connected for a two-run drive and Robinson Cano had three hits.
Sabathia (18-5) struck out nine in seven innings, but allowed five runs and nine hits. The big left-hander has won five consecutive starts and is 14-2 in his last 17 outings.
It was a much-needed victory for New York, which was coming off an ugly 9-4 loss in the series opener and had dropped three of four overall.
But the Yankees also lost Mark Teixeira after two innings to a bruised right thumb. The Gold Glove first baseman fielded Gordon Beckham’s routine grounder and slowly stepped on first for the final out of the second, then was taken down for a pinch hitter in the third.
Paul Konerko hit his 32nd homer and finished with four RBIs for the White Sox, who had won three of four. Chicago fell 4 1/2 games back of AL Central-leading Minnesota, which beat Seattle 1-0.
Konerko hit an RBI single off David Robertson in the ninth to cut it to 12-9, but Mariano Rivera closed it out for his 26th save in 28 opportunities.
After Carlos Quentin grounded into a double play, Rivera yielded a single to Ramon Castro and walked Andruw Jones before Mark Teahen lined out to second to end the game.
The Yankees got off to a fast start against John Danks (12-9), belting two-run homers in each of the first three innings to build a 6-1 lead. Swisher hit his 24th in the first, connecting for the second straight day against his former team. Nunez got his first one in the second and Thames went deep in the third.
Konerko and Andruw Jones each hit a two-run shot to get Chicago within one, but the Yankees responded with four runs in the fifth. Posada hit a two-run double off Tony Pena and Nunez singled in a pair to make it 10-5.
Danks allowed eight runs and six hits, walked four and struck out five in 4 1-3 innings. He was 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in his previous nine starts.
The eight runs tied a career high for the left-hander, who dropped to 2-2 with a 7.36 ERA in five career starts for New York.
Alexei Ramirez also homered for Chicago, which finished with 16 hits. Jones went 3 for 3 and scored twice.
Thames also connected in the ninth, helping Sabathia improve to 16-4 in his career against the White Sox.
NOTES: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte (strained left groin) will throw another bullpen session Sunday. 1B Lance Berkman (right ankle sprain) is going to try to run Sunday and if all goes well he may begin a rehab assignment Monday. … Swisher also had an RBI single in the eighth.
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