CHICAGO -- Alex Rodriguez is back, but the way things are going for the New York Yankees, it might not matter.
Alejandro De Aza hit a game-winning, two-run triple off Adam Warren, and the Chicago White Sox earned a 6-5, 12-inning win over the Yankees on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.
Robinson Cano homered off Dylan Axelrod (4-8) in the top of the inning to give New York a 5-4 lead, but the White Sox rallied off Warren (1-2) to hand the Yankees their fourth straight loss.
New York (57-56) fell 11 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
The Yankees, who led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, were one strike away from victory twice but couldn't close out the White Sox (43-69).
In the ninth, Mariano Rivera retired the first two batters he faced but allowed a two-out double to Gordon Beckham and a game-tying single to pinch hitter Adam Dunn to even the game at 4.
In the bottom of the 12th, Tyler Flowers got an infield hit off Warren's glove, and then Alexei Ramirez lined a single to left.
De Aza then tripled to deep center, finishing off a miserable 2-6 road trip for the Yankees.
"You look at it, we're down to the last strike twice, down to the last out twice, and for whatever reason we didn't get it done," New York manager Joe Girardi said.
"It's tough," Rivera said. "I think we played a tremendous game and a hard one to win, and we just give it right back."
Rodriguez, who on Wednesday officially appealed his 211-game suspension for his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, went 1-for-5 with a strikeout and a walk as New York's third baseman and No. 3 hitter.
In the 11th, Rodriguez had a chance to give New York the lead with Brett Gardner at third, but he grounded out to end the inning. Rodriguez was then replaced in the field by Jayson Nix and watched the Yankees get swept by a team that had lost 10 in a row before the series.
"That one really hurts," Rodriguez said. "That was unbelievable. Adam does such a great job pitching and throwing the ball, and just a tough hop off his glove, and two pitches later they're walking off."
The tough ending overshadowed a couple positives for the Yankees. Cano's homer was his first since July 10, and Alfonso Soriano and Eduardo Nunez also went deep. CC Sabathia, who was 0-3 with a 10.07 ERA in his previous four starts, pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up five hits and three runs. He was in line for his first win since beating Minnesota on July 3.
None of that added up to a win New York needed going into a series with the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers beginning Friday.
"I think it would be nice to start with a winning streak here, and Friday is a good time to start against a very good team in Detroit," Rodriguez said.
The Yankees couldn't do that against a White Sox team few would call good. But Rodriguez said he hadn't been paying attention to Chicago's struggles.
"They played the ball well, they pitched well, and they beat us," Rodriguez said.
That allowed the White Sox to sweep the Yankees in consecutive series for the first time since 1913.
"I don't know exactly how to summarize it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's great. ... Probably for our last two weeks, we've had a lot of those kind of games, close ones, and it's nice to end up on this side of it."
NOTES: Girardi said the team's attitude has been good, but the recent struggles have been a burden. "I think there's frustration, but they come prepared every day. They go to work every day," he said. ... Dayan Viciedo was Chicago's designated hitter, back in the lineup for the first time since jamming his left thumb during the first inning of Monday's game. He went 0-for-3. ... A run-scoring wild pitch charged to White Sox LHP Chris Sale on Tuesday was changed to a passed ball for Josh Phegley. Thanks to the change, Sale has now five outings this year in which he didn't allow an earned run. ... After an off day, New York RHP Ivan Nova (5-4, 3.08 ERA) will start Friday in Yankee Stadium against Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.28). Chicago is also off Thursday, then has a doubleheader Friday against the visiting Minnesota Twins. LHP John Danks (2-9, 4.52 ERA) will oppose Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (2-3, 6.69) in the first game. White Sox LHP Charlie Leesman will be called up to make his major league debut in the second game against RHP Liam Hendriks (0-1, 4-66).