Vásquez gets 1st career win, Yanks blank White Sox 3-0 for doubleheader split
NEW YORK (AP) — Randy Vásquez pitched two-hit ball into the sixth inning for his first major league win, Billy McKinney hit his first home run with the Yankees and New York beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Thursday night for a doubleheader split.
Chicago extended its winning streak to a season-high five games with a 6-5 victory in the opener, when Eloy Jiménez hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh off Michael King. Jake Burger had a two-run shot off Yankees starter Luis Severino before Luis Robert Jr. and Yoán Moncada also went deep against the right-hander.
After Wednesday’s game was postponed by Major League Baseball because of hazardous air quality from Canadian wildfires, conditions in the Bronx had improved by Thursday’s first pitch. According to the website IQAir, the air quality was graded 142 before the doubleheader began and was at 135 shortly after the nightcap started. An AQI ranging from 101-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
In the second game, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run homer off Chicago starter Mike Clevinger (3-4) in the fourth. Torres missed a game-winning three-run homer off Kendall Graveman by a few feet down the right-field line in the opener.
McKinney was called up from the minors Wednesday when star slugger Aaron Judge went on the 10-day injured list with a sprained and bruised right big toe. The 28-year-old outfielder tripled in the opener and homered into the right-field bleachers in the fifth inning of Game 2 to make it 3-0.
McKinney played his first home games for the Yankees. He was a minor league prospect when he was acquired with Torres from the Chicago Cubs in 2016 but was injured in the opening series of the 2018 season and the Yankees traded him to Toronto for J.A. Happ later that year. They re-signed McKinney to a minor league contract last December.
“It’s pretty cool,” McKinney said. “Gleyber and I were talking about that earlier. We’ve played against each other in the big leagues but we’ve never played together in the big leagues.”
Making his second major league start, Vásquez (1-1) allowed a single to Jiménez that put runners at first and second in the first. The rookie retired the next 15 hitters until Gavin Sheets singled, and was lifted after plunking Robert in the back to put two on with two outs in the sixth.
“I thought his stuff was really good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He had life on his four-seamer and a sinker that set up the other stuff, but he had power behind everything which I thought really served him well.”
The right-hander, who was 1-6 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, struck out three, walked one and got eight outs on groundballs.
“It was pretty fun to watch, especially seeing him down in Scranton how hard he’s worked,” McKinney said. “I’m a big Randy Vásquez fan.”
Ron Marinaccio whiffed Jiménez to end the sixth and pitched 2 2/3 innings. Clay Holmes got three outs for his seventh save as the Yankees avoided a three-game sweep.
After the game, Vásquez was sent back to Triple-A. He had been added to the roster as the 27th man for the doubleheader.
Jiménez exited in the ninth after appearing to tweak his leg running to first base. He is day-to-day with a lower left leg injury and will be evaluated Friday.
Clevinger allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He retired his first nine hitters before Willie Calhoun doubled and Torres followed with his 10th homer to snap an 0-for-20 skid.
Robert, who entered in an 8-for-40 skid, had three hits in the opener. He doubled in the seventh before Jiménez drove the next pitch from King (1-2) for a two-run shot that gave Chicago a 6-5 lead.
It was only the second home run allowed by King this year.
The White Sox tied a season high by going deep four times and matched their most homers at Yankee Stadium.
“Anytime you win two out of three, it’s a good series — after it’s done,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “We come in and win the first two, you want to win the third one, too.”
Calhoun homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees in the opener.
Gregory Santos (2-0) pitched a 1-2-3 sixth for the win. Graveman earned his sixth save by getting Anthony Rizzo to ground into a game-ending double play with two on.
Before the doubleheader, the Yankees made a $10,000 donation in Liam Hendriks’ name to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Boone and general manager Brian Cashman presented the White Sox closer with a giant check, and Hendriks will match the donation.
“That shows the class of the organization,” Hendriks said. “I will be forever grateful and it’s something they didn’t have to do but it is very much appreciated.”
Hendriks returned to the mound May 29 from stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He got his first win on Sunday, which coincided with National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States, and earned his first save of the season Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees: Judge said the swelling in his toe is decreasing and he opted against using a walking boot. … LHP Nestor Cortes (rotator cuff strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 5. LHP Matt Krook was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.63 ERA) opposes Miami rookie Eury Pérez (3-1, 2.25) on Friday in Chicago.
Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (7-0, 2.82 ERA) faces Boston RHP Garrett Whitlock (2-2, 5.61) in the opener of a three-game series Friday.
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