Once again, John Danks stepped up and guided his team to a big win at home when few would have bet on it.
Sure, it wasn't all Danks. The offense gave him an early lead and the defense made a few spectacular plays, but Danks did his part by striking out eight Yankees, which tied a season high.
A lot of credit goes to Avisail Garcia. While he continues to struggle at the plate, he turned out to be the fulcrum in the field. In the third inning, he robbed Didi Gregorius of a three-run homer with a leaping catch at the wall similar to his game-saver against Baltimore. The Yankees could have led 3-2 if Garcia came up short. Instead, Garcia limited Gregorius to a sac fly, Danks got out of the inning, and the Sox never trailed all night.
The offense turned in another strong night of work, forcing New York rookie Bryan Mitchell to figure them out, rather than the other way around. Mitchell came at them with high-90s fastballs early, and the Sox were ready for them. Adam Eaton started the game by lining a 98-mph fastball to right for a single, and two batters later, Jose Abreu cashed him in by pulling a 97-mph fastball down the third base line for an RBI double.
In the second, Alexei Ramirez jumped on a high 95-mph fastball and hit a no-doubter over the White Sox bullpen for a 2-0 lead. Mitchell eventually adjusted, switching to cutters and breaking balls to get a couple of zeroes on the board and keep the game within reach.
Joe Girardi tried to buy one more inning from him, but it didn't work. Eaton led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Tyler Saladino's single to right (Eaton ran through a stop sign, but Chris Young spiked the throw).
That was the end of Mitchell's night, but the hits kept coming against Diego Moreno. Abreu took one of them, getting plunked on the forearm with a 90-mph changeup. Melky Cabrera avenged the HBP with some impact of his own, crushing a hanging change over the wall in center for a three-run shot that put the Sox comfortably ahead.
The Sox still had to be careful against a Yankees offense that put up 13 runs the night before. Robin Ventura tried to get six innings out of Danks, but Danks came up one out short on 108 pitches. Jake Petricka closed out the sixth with help from Carlos Sanchez, who stayed with a screaming Brian McCann grounder, converting the groundout to strand two runners.
Likewise, Zach Duke came up with a big strikeout of Brett Gardner with two outs in the seventh, leaving Alex Rodriguez on deck. Once the Sox added two more in the seventh on an Alexei Ramirez RBI double and some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE, Ventura could relax and let Zach Putnam handle the rest. McCann hit a solo shot in the ninth, but it didn't matter.
*Eaton had a nice game in center field after a rough start to the series, including a diving catch in the second inning. He also went 2-for-4 with a walk, his seventh consecutive game with multiple times on base.
*Danks committed his first balk in five years, which put the potential tying run into scoring position with two outs in the fifth inning. He came back to strike out Brett Gardner, and shot Paul Nauert a glare while walking off the mound.
*Brooks Baseball says Danks averaged 92 mph with his fastball, topping out at 94. Huh.