The pregame coronation of Derek Jeter turned into an all-day affair. After receiving a Ron Kittle bench, a case of dirt and a check to his foundation from the White Sox, Jeter showed his gratitute in a strange way by going 4-for-5 and helping subdue the Sox for the series split.
The inning started ominously, with Gordon Beckham getting played on Yangervis Solarte's hard grounder for a "single." Rienzo didn't need the free out, because the Yankees made him sweat with a ton of foul balls early on, and he buckled under the extra stress. With the bases loaded, Brett Gardner hit a two-run single through the right side, and Jeter followed with an RBI knock to right himself. A sac fly gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead -- although Adam Eaton's sliding catch and throw to first almost took the run off the board with a double play -- and that was plenty for Tanaka.
Tanaka didn't exactly dissect the Sox, but the Sox couldn't square him up. He allowed just one run on five hits and two walks over 6⅔ innings, striking out six. He didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position until the sixth, when Tyler Flowers doubled. Conor Gillaspie drove him in with a bloop single to left for the Sox's only run.
The Sox had a chance to tag Tanaka with a couple more tallies in the seventh. Adam Dunn walked and moved to second on Alexei Ramirez's single, but he was caught too far off second on Paul Konerko's liner to short, resulting in a double play. Alejandro De Aza drew a walk to spur a pitching change, but Flowers struck out swinging to end the threat.
The Yankees did a better job at adding runs, with Jeter at the center of the action. In the fourth, he tripled with two outs and scored on a wild pitch. Two innings later, he singled to center with two outs to drive in Alfonso Soriano. Brian Roberts added the kicker in the former of a solo shot off Scott Carroll in the eighth.
*Rienzo made one of his own runs unearned, as he tried a pickoff move to second and threw the ball into center field.
*This is the first Rienzo start the White Sox lost (now 6-1).
*Javy Guerra made his White Sox debut and allowed a run on that Jeter single over two innings of work. Two hits, two plunkings, no walks, three strikeouts.
*Carroll made his relief debut. Outside of the solo homer, he walked one and struck out two, including a K of Jeter in his final at-bat.
*The White Sox sold out their second game of the season (39,142), but there's more:
Fact of day: Just heard every parking space is full at Cell for first time since 2003 ASG. Guess Yankee fans dislike carpooling— Scot Gregor (@scotgregor) May 25, 2014