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Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Back to 'embarrassing'

Disastrous fourth inning extends losing streak to four in rain-delayed opener in the Bronx

Rich Schultz

What made the fourth inning of today's game force Hawk Harrelson to call it the "most embarrassing inning I have ever called?"

Well, Dylan Axelrod loaded the bases with nobody out on a double, infield single and a walk. That happens. Then Mark Reynolds added an RBI infield single on a ball a diving Conor Gillaspie could only knock down, and Austin Romine scored two more with a single to center, making it a 4-0 game.

Still, these kinds of things happen to a guy who doesn't have strikeout stuff. It was only a little silly because he hadn't recorded an out. More so when Brett Gardner doubled to make it a 5-0 game.

It started to get absurd when Derek Jeter's comebacker deflected off Axelrod's glove for the third infield single of the inning, stretching the Yankees lead to 6-0. Alfonso Soriano followed with a double to drive in another run, and that brought Alex Rodriguez to the plate with runners on second and third.

Axelrod got Rodriguez to pop it straight up. Phegley located it, tossed his mask to the site, got under it, and ... watched it clank off the heel of his mitt to keep the at-bat alive. Sure enough, Axelrod then walked Rodriguez to load the bases, and that ended Axelrod's day.

But the hex wouldn't lapse until two of Axelrod's runners left the field. Jake Petricka started his outing with a grounder to first. Adam Dunn went to second for the foreceout ... and threw the ball into left field, which allowed two runs to score.  Petricka then got Curtis Granderson to his a grounder to Alexei Ramirez, but the double play took too long to develop, and Granderson beat it out by a fraction of a second. Finally, Mark Reynolds ended the Sox's misery with a 4-3, and the inning came to a close after eight runs and 13 Yankee batters.

Best of all: Jose Quintana got stuck with the defeat.

He gave up a run in the first inning, but he ended the inning on a high note by stranding a runner on third with a strikeout and a popout. It also turned out to be the end of his day, as a storm popped up and caused a rain delay of nearly two hours. That took both starters out of the game (Phil Hughes for New York), and the league leader in no-decisions received the loss for a game in which he barely participated.

David Huff, the Yankees' long reliever, was much more successful. He gave up just one run over 5⅔ innings, on Paul Konerko's 10th homer of the year. That turned out to be all the offense the Sox could muster. They managed just six hits and a walk.

On the plus side: Petricka (2⅔ innings) and David Purcey (two innings) completed the game in equally drama-free fashion. As awful as they played, at least they didn't drag it out.

Bullet points:

*Alejandro De Aza committed the first of three errors on the day when he overran Derek Jeter's RBI single in his attempt to make a charging pickup. Jeter took second, although if De Aza airmailed the cutoff man like he had on the previous two days, Jeter would've had the extra base anyway.

*Avisail Garcia reached on a single, which means he's hit safely in his last 18 complete starts. Unfortunately, he was doubled off first when he didn't expect Cano to catch Gillaspie's flare in shallow right field.

Record: 56-80 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights