White Sox beat the Yanks

September 16, 2008 7:30:19 PM PDT
Gavin Floyd pitched seven gritty innings and Paul Konerko had two hits and an RBI in his return from a knee injury as the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 6-2 on Tuesday night. Floyd pitched seven gritty innings and Paul Konerko had two hits and an RBI in his return from a knee injury as AL Central-leading Chicago beat the New York Yankees 6-2 on Tuesday.

Jeter passed Lou Gehrig for most career hits at the soon-to-close Yankee Stadium with his 1,270th, a sharp first-inning single past third baseman Juan Uribe, who was playing on the edge of the infield grass. The crowd of 52,558 gave Jeter a sustained standing ovation and he responded with a wave of his helmet while a bat boy retrieved the milestone ball.

Alexei Ramirez homered and Juan Uribe had three hits and drove in two runs for Chicago, which began the night with a 1½-game lead over the Minnesota Twins. Ken Griffey Jr. had an RBI single and Brian Anderson added an run-scoring double for the White Sox.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano returned to the starting lineup after being benched Monday as punishment for not hustling on a fielding play Sunday and went 0-for-4.

Floyd (16-7) put runners in scoring position in four of his seven innings but gave up just two runs for his first win in three starts this month. In the fifth, he struck out Jason Giambi in a 12-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-2 lead.

Floyd gave up nine hits, including Giambi's 31st homer in the fourth, and struck out three without walking a batter.

Matt Thornton pitched the eighth and Bobby Jenks worked a perfect ninth for Chicago.

Konerko, who was injured on Sept. 9, singled in the second and drove in a run with a double off Andy Pettitte in a three-run fourth. His return is big for the White Sox, who are playing without MVP candidate Carlos Quentin (broken wrist) and Joe Crede (back). The White Sox improved to 7-7 in September as they try a lock up their first division title since 2005, when they won the World Series.

Manager Joe Girardi moved Pettitte back a day so he could start what should be the final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. The honor completes a turnaround for Pettitte, who was named in the Mitchell Report last winter.

But the lefty made a heartfelt apology during spring training for using human growth hormone and fans have recognized him throughout the season for his accomplishments as a core member of the group that won four World Series titles in five years from 1996-2000.

While he's 94-42 in his career at the ballpark - second to Ron Guidry, who had 99 wins, since the ballpark was remodeled in the mid-1970s - Pettitte (13-14) dropped to 5-8 at home this year. His 14 losses are a career high, and he's never had a losing season.

Pettitte dropped to 1-7 in 10 starts since July 26 and has lost five straight starts for the first time in his career. He walked in a run in the fourth.

Pettitte left after six innings having struck out four, bringing his career total to 1,9999.

Notes: Jeter moved past Gehrig for second in at-bats when he singled in the first with 8,002. ... In the middle of the fourth inning the Yankees public address announcer implored fans to treat Yankee Stadium "respectfully over the final five games, and warned that anyone caught trying to take momentos from the ballpark would be arrested and prosecuted." The Yankees will have extra police, including federal officers, in the stands Sunday. ... Olympic silver medalist Dara Torres threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Henry Kissinger, North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams and Hillary Duff were at the game.