Rondell White didn’t know what to expect from the fans at Yankee Stadium. His play through the first two games of this series has commanded respect.
White, who suffered through the worst season of his 12-year career with New York in 2002, will look to continue his hot hitting when the Detroit Tigers and Yankees play the deciding game of their series.
A career .287 hitter, White shined in relative obscurity in Montreal during his first seven-plus seasons, and then hit .310 with 19 homers in 114 games for the Chicago Cubs from 2000-01.
But things changed dramatically once he signed with the Yankees in 2002.
His .240 average, .288 on-base percentage and .378 slugging percentage were all career lows. He missed 36 games due to knee problems, and was relegated to fourth outfielder status in the postseason.
The next year he was gone, splitting the season in Kansas City and San Diego.
“It isn’t like going to Montreal,” White said of playing in New York. ”(The fans) will give you respect if you play hard and stay humble. They’ll also boo you, too, though.”
White, who is hitting .278 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs this season, carried a 5-for-38 slump into Monday’s series opener, but went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Then on Tuesday, the 32-year-old outfielder went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs as the Tigers evened the series with a 9-1 win.
Dmitri Young added three doubles and two RBIs as Detroit ended a five-game losing streak.
The Yankees have lost four of five, with their starting pitchers posting an 8.14 ERA in that span.
Rookie Brad Halsey will try to turn things around on Wednesday. The 23-year-old left-hander is coming off a solid effort against Boston on Thursday, allowing two runs and four hits over 5 1-3 innings in the Yankees’ 5-4, 13-inning win.