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Cano, Chavez homer to give Yankees a series split

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- As part of an interview on the stadium scoreboard during the New York Yankees' annual Old-Timers Day festivities, former second baseman Willie Randolph joked he would turn some double plays during the game at his old position.

Then he laughed and cautioned current Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano to "look out" for him.

The more accurate warning would be for opponents to look out for Cano.

Named the American League's starting second baseman in the All-Star Game for the third straight time, Cano again showed why with a two-run homer in the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

It was Cano's 20th home run of the season and ninth in his last 14 games, and it helped support Phil Hughes (9-6) in another strong start.

Eric Chavez also homered for the Yankees, who split their four-game series against the White Sox after dropping the first two.

"I think it's great," Chavez said of Cano's turnaround, hitting 11 homers in June after a slow start this season. "I know a lot of people were puzzled when he struggled so early, but he's a great player. ... He's a guy in the middle of the lineup. We need him to do his thing."

The annual Old-Timers' Day festivities included six Hall of Famers, with Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford waving to the crowd from a golf cart, with the awning shielding them from the 95-degree heat.

The present Yankees also showed their star-studded power, with Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson joining Cano as starters on the All-Star team.

"I really appreciate that," Cano, the defending home run derby champ, said of the fans voting him the starter again. "Hopefully, go out there and do something special."

The White Sox offense had been doing some special things, helping Chicago win four in a row, including a 14-7 thumping of the Yankees Friday, before dropping the past two games. But after taking a 2-0 lead in the first, the White Sox were unable to mount much of a threat.

Chicago -- which had its own trio of All-Stars named to the team Sunday in Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and left-hander Chris Sale -- will have an off-day to regroup Monday.

"You come in here and get the first two and I know it looks bad that you don't win the next two," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But when you come in here and split, you get out of here feeling pretty good."

Hughes allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings, but held the Sox scoreless in his last seven innings and allowed just three hits after the first.

He was able to get more rotation on his breaking ball and was "more aggressive with fastballs; go right after guys," Hughes said.

He's given up just the two runs in his last two starts through 16 innings, with the durability especially impressive in Sunday's sultry weather.

"It was hard to breathe out there," Cano said. "That's a great job for him to pitch eight innings, and that's a good team over there."

Rafael Soriano walked Dayan Viciedo with two outs in the ninth to put the tying run at the plate. But Soriano struck out Alexi Ramirez to end the game and earn his 18th save of the season.

Gavin Floyd (6-8) gave up four runs on eight hits, including the pair of two-run homers. Floyd wiggled out of a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the first by getting Cano on a 1-2-3 double play and striking out Nick Swisher.

But in the second, Chavez -- starting at third base with Alex Rodriguez given a day off -- smacked a two-run homer to tie the game, 2-2. Cano's two-run shot in the third gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead.

"Against that lineup you can't ease your way into it," Ventura said of Floyd, who threw 122 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. "They don't allow you to do that. They were grinding on him, a lot of pitches. It's something that you're used to seeing with them."

Leyson Septimo shut the Yankees down for the next 2 1/3 innings, keeping them hitless and striking out two.

But the Sox had only two base runners after the third, when A.J. Pierzynski singled in the sixth and Viciedo walked in the ninth, but neither player got past first.

The White Sox touched up Hughes for three hits and a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a double and was singled in by Kevin Youkilis, though replays indicated De Aza stepped over home plate without touching it.

Alex Rios then hit a two-out single to score Youkilis.

NOTES: Jeter will be an All-Star for the 13th time while Cano will be part of the team for the fourth time and Granderson will make his third appearance. CC Sabathia was named to the team, and said he will attend the game, but didn't expect the Yankees to allow him to pitch as he is on the disabled list. ... Raul Ibanez chipped a tooth and cut his lip when he banged into the dugout fence while trying to elude a foul ball in the ninth. He was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital after the game and was expected to join the team in Tampa Bay on Monday. ... Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (6-5, 2.96 ERA) was one of the five AL candidates to be added to the roster via a special fan vote, which will end July 5. ... The Yankees acquired right-handed reliever Chad Qualls (1-1, 4.60 ERA) from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash and a player to be named. Qualls had been designated for assignment last Monday. Minor-leaguer Matt Antonelli was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees will make a move Monday to get Qualls on the big-league roster.
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