Tonight, the Big Donkey gave Rivera's replacement the same treatment. This one hurt a little more.
With a man on first, nobody out and the White Sox trailing 5-4, Robertson made an 0-2 mistake to Dunn, and Dunn swatted a no-doubter to right center for a sudden and surprising victory.
It marks the first time the Yankees lost a game in which they held a ninth-inning lead this year (now 21-1), and it took good 0-2 hitting to do it. Dayan Viciedo put the tying run on base by taking two fastballs for strikes, then getting down and golfing a breaking ball through the left side for a single. In the same situation with Dunn, Robertson tried a fastball, and that didn't work, either.
Dunn gave Sox fans a satisfying end to a pretty frustrating game, mostly due to the return of teamwide control issues. Hector Noesi's sins were forgiveable, because he somehow managed to throw a quality start even after giving up a three-run homer in the first inning. However that gets done is acceptable.
But staked to a 4-3 lead, the bullpen showed that it could really use Matt Lindstrom, because Jake Petricka isn't cut out for high-leverage work yet. In his defense, he probably could've come in with one fewer baserunner.
Scott Downs started the seventh and gave up a single to Brian Roberts. Joe Girardi replaced Kelly Johnson with Alfonso Soriano, but Robin Ventura didn't go to Petricka then, even though the bulk of Soriano's production this season has come against lefties. He singled, too, and when lefty Brett Gardner came to the plate, that's when Ventura went to Petricka for some reason.
Then again, Petricka's performance suggested an earlier change might've made zero difference. After Gardner bunted the runners over, Petricka walked Jeter on four pitches to load the bases, then bounced a sinker past Tyler Flowers to bring in the tying run. A sac fly to Jacoby Ellsbury late, the Yankees grabbed a 5-4 lead.
Fortunately, Daniel Webb picked up the last out of the eighth and all three in the ninth while minimizing his own control problems. He issued the team's eighth and final walk of the night, but he kept the Yankees off the board and made Dunn's heroics possible.
The Yankees' pitching wasn't that great, either. The Sox outhit New York 13-8, and they probably could have done more damage against Hiroki Kuroda. In fact, they needed help from not-a-first-baseman Kelly Johnson to score off him.
Johnson's inability to catch a low throw in the first inning allowed Adam Eaton to score from second on what should have been an inning-ending groundout, helping the Sox to reduce the early hole to 3-1.
In the fourth, another innocuous-looking bounceout turned into a run instead of the third out. With runners on first and second, Adam Eaton hit a chopper to the right side. Tyler Flowers barely cleared a charging Brian Roberts, who barehanded the throw and rushed a one-hopper to first. It was a tough pick, but he didn't even get mitt on it, and Alejandro De Aza scored to make it 3-2.
But Alexei Ramirez found a way to strike against Kuroda before he could escape the game. He walked Adam Dunn with two outs to extend the inning to Ramirez, and Ramirez jumped on the first pitch and homered to left to give the Sox their first lead of the game.
After finally getting a lead, Ventura courted danger by sending Noesi out to the mound for the sixth on 98 pitches. It looked worse when Yangervis Solarte singled to right. Somehow, though, Noesi got Ichiro Suzuki to ground into a beautifully executed 1-4-3 double play to seal the quality start. He's still searching for his first win since May 6, 2012, but team wins help his cause at this stage in his career.
*Ramirez had a terrific night, going 3-for-4 with that run and those two RBIs.
*Eaton joined him in the three-hit club, and everybody hit safely aside from De Aza.
*Conor Gillaspie saw his streak of 42 plate appearances without a strikeout snapped with two K's in his final two trips.