Memo to the New York Yankees: With the game on the line against the Chicago White Sox do not hit the ball to Brent Lillibridge. The Yankees tried that twice in the ninth inning Tuesday night and Lillibridge made back-to-back spectacular plays to give the White Sox a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium.
The official save will go on the record of relief pitcher Sergio Santos. In reality, though, it belongs to Lillibridge. With runners at first and second and one in the ninth inning Alex Rodriguez hit a twisting line drive toward the right-field corner. Lillibridge sprinted to the wall, stretch and caught the ball while crashing into the fence. Next, Robinson Cano hit a screaming line drive that appeared destined to be a game-winning double. Until Lillibridge, making a full dive, snagged the ball and snatched a victory away from the Yankees.
This was Chicago's second straight victory over New York. The White Sox had lost 10 of 11 games heading into this four-game series.
Possibly of more concern for the Yankees than the back-to-back losses is that it appears New York has a Rafael Soriano problem. Soriano (1-1) took the loss after surrendering a two-run eighth-inning home run to Paul Konerko and now has an earned-run average of 7.84. Signed to a three-year, $35-million contract to set up for Mariano Rivera and possibly replace him as closer when Rivera retires, Soriano has been mystifyingly ineffective so far in 2011 after saving a career-high 45 games for Tampa Bay in 2010. He entered Tuesday's game with a 2-1 lead following 6.1 terrific innings from Ivan Nova and two-thirds of an inning from reliever David Robertson.
New York's only runs came on solo home runs by Cano and Brett Gardner.
|Final - 4.26.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Chicago White Sox||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||0||3||10||0|
|New York Yankees||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||4||0|
|WP: Gavin Floyd (3 - 1)
SV: Sergio Santos (2)
LP: Rafael Soriano (1 - 1)