Those swings led to another win for the New York Yankees.
Beltran became the fourth switch-hitter to reach 400 home runs when
he hit a two-run run homer in the sixth inning and an inning later
Headley had a tiebreaking pinch hit double as New York capped a
successful 10-game homestand with a 7-5 victory over the Chicago
In a game where the Yankees blew had five one-run leads, Beltran
gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead with two outs in the sixth when he a
drove a 2-2 pitch from the left-hander Zach Duke over the left field
wall. By doing so, Beltran joined Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle
(536), Eddie Murray (504) and Chipper Jones (468) as the only switch
hitters to reach the achievement.
"It's a great moment for him and it's a great moment for us,"
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Beltran's 116th home run in 2,431 at-bats against lefties also made
him the third Puerto Rico native behind Carlos Delgado (473) and
Juan Gonzalez (434) to reach 400. He also became the sixth active
player with 400 home runs.
"When you play the game of baseball, I never thought I was going to
be able to get to the point where I am right now," Beltran said.
"I've always been hard-working. When you accomplish something like
this it really means a lot to me, to my family, Puerto Rico my
country. So it's exciting to be able to hit 400 home runs."
Beltran's home run ensured the Yankees would be able to use their
trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. There
turned out to be little time to celebrate the milestone when
Betances gave up three straight hits, including a double to Melky
Cabrera to put the game in a 5-5 deadlock.
"Unbelievable," Headley said of Beltran. "It's been a pleasure to be
able to play with him the last couple of years and watch him at this
point. We spent a few hours working and him trying to help me out.
So great to see."
Betances (1-2) finished the seventh by striking out Alex Avila with
runners on second and third. Following a two-out walk to Didi
Gregorius, Headley roped a double off right-hander Matt Albers that
one-hopped the warning track and bounced off the center field wall.
On May 5, Headley had a .151 average but when he clapped his hands
upon reaching second, it had climbed 49 points.
Once Headley put the Yankees ahead for the final time, Andrew Miller
struck out two in the eighth. After Brian McCann homered in the
eighth, Aroldis Chapman faced Jose Abreu in a memorable 12-pitch
at-bat that ended with a groundout and recorded his third save as
the Yankees won for the seventh time in 10 games.
"We're swinging the bats," Girardi said. "We're scoring runs. We're
winning the close games. I feel a lot better."
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By allowing the late hits, the White Sox (24-14) were unable to win
a series in New York for the first time since 2005. Chicago also
ended a six-game road trip with four losses.
"You're playing a team that's trying to scratch and claw too,"
Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "It's a good game, back and
forth, we just couldn't hold it. We'd get a lead, they kept fighting
back, and even for us, late, the seventh inning you end up tying it
back up, but we just couldn't pin it down."
"It just happens we were on the wrong end of things," White Sox
right fielder Adam Eaton said. "That sums up our road trip."
Before Beltran homered, he had a first-inning sacrifice fly. The
Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the third on an infield single by Starlin
Castro and a bases-loaded walk by Dustin Ackley.
Eaton gave Chicago a 2-1 lead on a long home run off Masahiro Tanaka
into the back of the New York bullpen beyond the right-center field
fence in the third. Eaton then drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt
in the fourth.
Avisail Garcia had three hits, including an RBI single in the second
for Chicago's first run.
Neither starting pitcher lasted six innings.
Gonzalez allowed three runs, five hits and five walks in 4 2/3
innings while Tanaka allowed four runs and eight hits in five
NOTES: LHP CC Sabathia (strained left groin) threw about 50 pitches
in a simulated game as he pitched to IF Ronald Torreyes and IF/OF
Dustin Ackley. Sabathia also did some fielding drills such as making
pickoff throws and covering first base. Sabathia reported no
physical difficulties and if nothing goes wrong, he will likely
start Friday in Oakland. ... Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of
Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio starting his record-setting 56-game
hitting streak with a single off Chicago's Eddie Smith. White Sox
manager Robin Ventura had a 58-game hitting streak at Oklahoma State
and said he doesn't think anyone will get close to 56 games. "I
can't imagine a guy getting within 10," Ventura said. "It's just
harder. If anybody watched the end of our game yesterday you see
what's possible." ... Chicago was charged with an error for the
first time in 13 games and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it
was the longest in team history.
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