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Yankees 7, White Sox 1

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched a strong game to help lead the New York Yankees to a decisive victory over the White Sox in Derek Jeter's final regular-season game in Chicago on Sunday afternoon.

Tanaka pitched 6 2/3 innings while giving up just one run on five hits while striking out six in his first start since having a lengthy unbeaten streak snapped in his previous outing. Shortstop Jeter went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and the Yankees beat the White Sox 7-1 in front of 39,142 at U.S. Cellular Field to split a four-game series.

New York (26-23) scored four runs in the second inning and one each in the fourth and sixth to give Tanaka a comfortable lead on the mound. They added an insurance run in the eighth on a solo home run by second baseman Brian Roberts for a six-run cushion and cruised to the win. Left fielder Brett Gardner went 1-for-5 with two RBIs, but it was Jeter's day at the plate.

After a pre-game ceremony to celebrate his 20-year career, Jeter rapped out three singles and a triple. The Yankees' shortstop, who will retire after this season, highlighted New York's half of the fourth in his third trip to the plate. After tripling to center field, Jeter scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0 Yankees.

He made it 6-0 with a single in the sixth before striking out in his final regular-season at-bat in Chicago to end the eighth, but gave the crowd a vintage performance to remember.

Tanaka was just as good on the mound. The Japanese-born starter, who signed with the Yankees as a free agent this past offseason, had a string of 42 straight unbeaten starts between Japan and the major leagues snapped in his previous outing May 20 in a 6-1 loss at the Chicago Cubs.

Tanaka's first 3 1/3 innings were hitless and he allowed only three base-runners through the fifth on two hits and a hit batter.

Chicago scratched out a run in the sixth on a double by catcher Tyler Flowers and third baseman Conor Gillaspie's bloop single to make it 6-1, but that was all the White Sox could muster against Tanaka -- who threw 73 of 118 pitches for strikes.

Andre Rienzo (4-1) started for Chicago and took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks in five innings.

The Yankees gave Tanaka a quick lead by scoring four runs on four hits and an error in the second. Gardner's two-run single highlighted the inning to put New York up 2-0 before Jeter singled home a run and Roberts scored from third on a sacrifice fly.

That turned out to be the only offense necessary, even though the Yankees added three more runs for the final margin.

The White Sox (25-27) lost their second straight game and lost for the first time this season in a game Rienzo started, after going 6-0 in his previous outings. They also failed to win their third straight home series and third straight series against the Yankees at home, dating back to the 2012 season.

White Sox hitters struggled to solve Tanaka, but Rienzo also wasn't sharp. Despite striking out seven, he allowed hits in four of his five innings and runs in two frames before giving way to the bullpen.

Gillaspie (2-for-4, RBI) and shortstop Alexei Ramirez (2-for-4) led the way offensively for Chicago, which will host the Cleveland Indians, their American League Central rivals, in a three-game series that starts Monday.

NOTES: Before the game the White Sox honored Yankees SS Derek Jeter and Chicago 1B Paul Konerko, who are both retiring after this season. Jeter is playing his 20th season in the major leagues and was given three gifts prior to the game, a wooden "Yankees" themed bench made out of baseball bats, a glass and marble plaque filled with infield dirt from U.S. Cellular Field bearing the names of greats who played there and a $5,000 check filled out to Jeter's charity. ... White Sox 2B prospect Micah Johnson was placed on the disabled list Sunday for Triple-A Charlotte with a left hamstring injury that occurred Friday. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda faced hitters Saturday in Tampa, Fla., for the first time since injuring a muscle in his right shoulder. He threw 28 pitches and is scheduled to pitch two innings Tuesday in an extended spring training game. ... New York C Francisco Cervelli, on the 60-day disabled list with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain, ran the bases Saturday as the next step in his recovery but did not go full speed. ... Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley is scheduled to play catch again Monday. His back stiffened again on May 19 playing catch, which set him back in his recovery. ... Yankees left-handed starter C.C. Sabathia hasn't begun baseball-related activities and is working in a pool to rehab his injured right knee.

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