NEW YORK (AP) — Addison Reed knew Yankee Stadium’s reputation for swallowing up easy flys for home runs. He also knew Derek Jeter had a knack for coming through in the clutch.
So when Jeter sent a sharp liner to right field, the White Sox closer hoped the ball would stay in the park and that Alex Rios would have space to make the catch.
Rios did, with no room to spare. Rios banged into the wall as he made the catch, just 314 feet from home, to end the Chicago White Sox’s 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
“When it landed in his glove,” Reed said, “I was a happy man.”
Dayan Viciedo gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead with a three-run homer off David Robertson in the ninth inning after a throwing error, and Reed held on for the AL Central-leading White Sox’s sixth win in eight games.
Viciedo’s homer was set up by reliever Clay Rapada’s wild toss to second base on a potential double-play ball.
“It’s a tough way to lose a game, but it’s a physical error and it’s going to happen and you’ve just got to put it behind you,” manager Joe Girardi said.
With closer Rafael Soriano not available after earning saves in four of the last five games, the Yankees had their five-game winning streak end.
Other than Alejandro De Aza, who homered and had four hits, the White Sox were unable to muster much against the Yankees’ de facto ace Ivan Nova into the eighth. Minus Soriano, Chicago improved to 22-14 on the road, third best in the American League.
Mark Teixeira homered off New Jersey-born Hector Santiago (2-1) with two outs in the eighth to make it 3-1.
Rios led off the ninth with a single against Cody Eppley, and Rapada entered. A.J. Pierzynski bunted back to the mound and Rapada’s poor throw put runners at first and third. Robertson (0-2) relieved and Viciedo drove a 1-0 pitch into the left-field stands.
“I would definitely say it’s a little tougher,” Robertson said of coming in with runners on base rather than starting an inning.
“You’ve got a clean inning, you’ve got an opportunity to maybe get an out and allow a walk or something like that or even give up a base hit and still find your way out of it because you’ve finally got your rhythm on the mound,” he said.
Reed gave up a leadoff single to Dewayne Wise in the New York ninth. Eric Chavez then hit a fly to left and Wise was caught way off first base, but Viciedo’s throw to first was offline for a possible double play. After pinch-hitter Andruw Jones struck out looking, Jeter flied out and Reed had his 11th save.
“I looked at the guys and said I know he’s going to hit one to right,” Jeter’s former teammate and White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I don’t like seeing him too much.”
Jeter had singled in the seventh to tie fellow shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th place on the career list with 3,184.
De Aza homered off the facing of the suite level in right field for the game’s first run with two outs in the fifth. That was the lone run against Nova, who gave his manager reason to be hopeful about the Yankees’ depleted rotation with an ace-like outing.
The Yankees took the lead right back against rookie Dylan Axelrod in the bottom half when Curtis Granderson singled with two outs and Alex Rodriguez followed with a drive to left-center. De Aza made a long run to track down the ball, but it hit off his glove as he neared the wall, falling for an RBI double.
Robinson Cano then gave the Yankees the lead with a double to right-center.
A day after receiving a double whammy of devastating injuries to the rotation, Girardi said he’s not going to give the remaining three starters any sort of pep talk — unless he has to. In the meantime, CC Sabathia is on the disabled list with a groin strain and Andy Pettitte is out with a broken lower left leg.
Nova gave up six hits, three walks and a wild pitch, leaving with De Aza on second and one out in the eighth. The crowd of 44,041 gave him a loud ovation when he strolled off the field.
Boone Logan relieved and got Adam Dunn to fly out, advancing De Aza to third. Eppley relieved and struck out Paul Konerko with a knee-buckling breaking pitch.
Axelrod was making his third start in place of the injured Phil Humber and had his longest outing. He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings. It was his first outing in the Bronx.
“I was focused and tried to stare at A.J.’s glove,” said Axelrod on how he fought off nervousness. “I think I did a pretty good job that.”
Despite wearing a different uniform, Kevin Youkilis was booed as if he still played for Boston. Acquired over the weekend, he went 0 for 4 for the White Sox.
NOTES: The White Sox take infield practice after BP before the first game of every series, one of the changes made by Ventura this year. On Thursday, however, Chicago took a unique approach to the drills — they didn’t use a ball. The players mimed catching the ball and whipping it around the infield, even turning double plays. Several players left the field with a smile. … The Yankees purchased the contract of RHP Adam Warren from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre and he’ll start Friday in place of Sabathia. … The White Sox purchased the contract of left-hander Leyson Septimo from Triple-A Charlotte and have designated reliever Will Ohman for assignment.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)