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White Sox 8, Yankees 2: A rare comfortable victory

Sox gain further independence from .500 as James Shields wins second consecutive start behind well-balanced lineup

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

James Shields and the White Sox offense made sure we could enjoy our holiday.

It wasn’t quite a laugher for the Sox. A one-and-done Matt Albers appearance made Zach Duke necessary, and a Brett Lawrie error opening the eighth made Nate Jones necessary. But a few insurance runs allowed Dan Jennings to pitch the ninth instead of David Robertson, and any potential tying run in the Yankee dugout didn’t even have to locate his helmet.

The result: the first White Sox victory by more than three runs since May 13.

Shields’ day had an ominous beginning, with Chase Headley turning on an 89-mph inside-corner fastball for a two-run homer in the second.

The White Sox offense needed a turn to figure out CC Sabathia, but the cavalry eventually showed up. Tim Anderson followed Jason Coats’ single with a two-run shot just right of center — the Sox’ first homer with somebody on base in 15 tries — to tie the game.

Two innings later, Todd Frazier doubled(!) with one out, moved to third on Melky Cabrera’s infield single, and scored on Brett Lawrie’s sac fly to give them the lead. Not satisfied with one run, Dioner Navarro followed with a two-run blast to give Shields a 5-2 lead.

That one was never truly threatened. While Shields had to defuse a legit jam in the fourth -- he got a grounder and a flyout to strand a runner on third — the tying run only came to the plate against him or any Sox pitcher in the sixth (corrected). He ended up holding the Yankees to those two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings, striking out three.

The offense stretched the lead afterward. In the seventh, Lawrie singled home Frazier, who led off the with his second double. One inning later, speed killed. Anderson reached on Didi Gregorius’ third error of the game (a replay showed his throw beat him), and Adam Eaton followed with a bunt single. Anderson scored on Jose Abreu’s blooper to left even though he initially held up to see if it would fall, and Frazier came through with a third hit to drive in Eaton more easily.

Frazier created some much-needed breathing room from the Mendoza line, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two walks. It was his first multi-double game of the season, if hit total (eight) didn’t give it away.

Bullet points:

*Everybody had a hit except Avisail Garcia, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

*The Sox committed four errors — besides Lawrie’s booted grounder in the eighth, Navarro committed catcher’s interference on Jacoby Ellsbury (who specializes in drawing them), Shields botched a pickoff, and Jennings missed first on a feed from Abreu.

Record: 43-40 | Box score | Highlights