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MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees
Yankee killer: Seby Zavala crushed a pair of home runs to help the White Sox beat the Yankees.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Zavala launches two homers

Lucas Giolito pitched six no-hit innings during the victory, and Liam Hendriks picked up his first save of 2023

The White Sox (27-35) beat the Yankees (36-26) to open a four-game series in the Bronx. The South Siders rode huge performances by Seby Zavala and Lucas Giolito to grind out a low-scoring victory. This was the South Siders’ fourth straight victory, marking their longest winning streak of the season.

The first couple of innings were quiet on both sides, with starters Giolito and Clarke Schmidt starting out strong. The best opportunity for either side early on was in the bottom of the first, when Giolito issued back-to-back walks with two outs. Giolito escaped the jam by winning a six-pitch battle against Anthony Volpe with a strikeout.

The White Sox broke the ice in the top of the third in an unusual way. Oddly, a fly ball with a 95.4 mph exit velocity and a 41-degree launch angle did some damage. Despite an expected batting average of .020, it worked out for Seby Zavala, who hit it in the right spot of the right ballpark. Yankee Stadium’s short porch down the right-field line was enough to allow the 320-footer to clear the wall, and the White Sox had a 1-0 lead.

The score remained 1-0 until there were two outs in the top of the fifth. At that point, the bottom two spots in the White Sox lineup provided some insurance. Romy González kept the inning alive with a single, and up to the plate stepped Zavala. Schmidt missed his spot with a cutter over the middle of the plate, and Zavala took full advantage. This time, there was no doubt about whether or not it would be a home run. Zavala’s 435-foot blast tripled Chicago’s lead, and it was 3-0.

Meanwhile, Giolito was terrific on the mound, as the Yankees struggled to solve him. After six innings, Giolito had a no-hitter, and he had struck out seven while issuing three walks, none of which came back to bite him. His pitch count was reasonable (100) despite the eventful first inning that included two walks. But that was it for Giolito’s excellent day, as Pedro Grifol decided not to take any risks with his strongest starter of 2023. While one could argue Giolito had a bit more in the tank, this was probably the right decision. Joe Kelly took over on the mound to begin the seventh.

With two outs in that inning, the Yankees offense finally showed signs of life. Willie Calhoun drew a walk, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a sharp line drive to left-center. Luis Robert Jr. and Andrew Benintendi both approached the ball, and it seemed that Robert had a play. After getting very close to the landing spot, Robert let the ball drop for an RBI double. It is unclear if Robert thought Benintendi was there, but he was not, and the Yankees were on the board with their first run and hit. José Trevino followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and Kelly fell behind in the count (3-1) to Jake Bauers. Kelly missed just outside, but the plate appearance remained alive when the outside pitch was called a strike. Kelly got Bauers to ground out on the next pitch to end the inning.

Reliever Kendall Graveman delivered a perfect eighth against the heart of New York’s lineup to build on his hot streak.

With the score 3-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, cancer survivor Liam Hendriks entered the game. Josh Donaldson greeted Hendriks rather rudely by crushing a solo homer to left on the first pitch from the star closer. Just like that, the Yankees were within one run. However, Volpe, Calhoun, and Kiner-Falefa grounded out to shortstop to end the game. That resulted in Hendriks picking up his first save since his incredible return.

The White Sox will be back in action tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. Central. As usual, NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM will cover the game. MLB Network will televise the game, too. The probable White Sox starting pitcher is Lance Lynn (6.55 ERA, 5.26 FIP, 0.3 fWAR in 67 1⁄3 innings), while the probable Yankees is TBD. We hope to see you then.

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