video thumbnail

Jeter collects five hits in the game

CHICAGO -- The Yankees had just scored 18 runs, won their sixth game in a row and got the type of balanced production that isn't really supposed to take place with your cleanup hitter out.

But there was little joy in the postgame clubhouse on Wednesday night.

That's because despite spotting starter A.J. Burnett a 12-run lead, the right-hander struggled so much that he wasn't able to finish in line for the win. The result was an 18-7 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field by the Yankees, but the mood represented a sense of frustration for their starting pitcher, who gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings and has gone six straight outings without getting a win.

Afterward, Burnett tried his best to look on the bright side.

"I can't beat myself up," he said. "I have to stay positive. Believe me, I still believe I'm important, I believe that I'm a big part of this team and I'm going to be a big part. I'm going to get on a roll, and it's just a matter of time."

On this night, the Yankees' bats allowed them to cruise despite their starter's struggles.

Their offensive onslaught saw Eric Chavez hit his first home run since May 11 of last year, Derek Jeter tie his career high with five hits, Mark Teixeira hit his first triple since 2009 and the first three hitters of the lineup combine to go 12-for-17 with 10 runs and seven RBIs.

When the White Sox crept to within six after the fifth inning, the Yankees added four in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull away for good.

In the end, they finished with 23 hits.

"It's not too often throughout the course of a season where it feels like everybody's swinging the bat well at the same time," said Jeter, who finished 5-for-6 and moved into 23rd place on the all-time hits list with 3,027. "That's been the case for us the last few days."

After three frames were in the books, the Yankees had tagged White Sox starter Gavin Floyd for 10 runs, had notched 13 hits and held a 13-1 lead.

And still, Burnett could not qualify for the win.

The Yankees' right-hander wound up being almost as ineffective as Floyd was for the White Sox. It just took him longer. Burnett gave up five runs in the fourth inning, then exited with one out in the fifth after letting the White Sox cut their deficit in half.

"I'm frustrated for him, because that's a night that he should go out and get a win," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But he struggled tonight, for whatever reason."

Perhaps Burnett could've received his first win since June 29, but Girardi opted to pull him two outs before he could qualify. The Yankees' skipper said Burnett just "didn't have it."

When Girardi came out, Burnett angrily shoved the ball in Girardi's hands, then ripped off his jersey before making his way down the steps and into the clubhouse.

Burnett, who has a 6.00 ERA since the start of July, said he was angry with himself.

"These guys came out and swung the bat early and gave me a lead," Burnett said, "and all I had to do is go out and establish a zone and throw strikes, and I never got in a rhythm. I definitely wasn't able to put anybody away. I had no hook tonight, and the fastball was up. And you can't pitch up with your fastball and not have a hook. It's not a good combo."

Girardi, for his part, didn't feel Burnett showed him up, saying: "I can understand frustration because there's a lot of emotion in this game. ... It's the next day that you worry about. And A.J. and I have a great relationship."

As for that six-man rotation, Burnett and his $82.5 million contract aren't going anywhere. He'll pitch on Wednesday.

Before that happens, Burnett feels he needs a more deceptive curveball -- "It didn't seem like he had quite the same sharpness to it today," catcher Russell Martin said -- and a more unpredictable repertoire.

"If there was any game to get him a win, get him back on track, this was it," Martin said. "But there's a whole lot of season left, though."

And the Yankees scored plenty for him on this night.

In the first, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer to give him 17 on the year and give the Yanks a quick 4-0 lead. Curtis Granderson then added a two-run triple in the second, and the Yankees went off in the third.

Chavez started it off with a two-run homer and Jeter hit a two-run single to make it 9-1. Then, with the bases loaded, Teixeira lined a ball into center field that Alex Rios mistimed and watched roll all the way to the wall, giving Teixeira three bases and the Yankees a 12-run lead that was eventually too much for the White Sox to overcome.

No matter how bad Burnett struggled.

Even with Alex Rodriguez out, the Yankees have recorded 33 extra-base hits in their last eight games, and have scored at least 10 runs four times since July 22.

"If you're going to win, you need a good team," Jeter said. "If guys are out, other guys are going to have to step up. That's been the case for us all year."

MLB.com Comments