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Yankees use big inning to beat White Sox

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The way David Huff breezed through the middle of the Chicago White Sox lineup in the top of the fourth inning, New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine thought one or two runs might be enough.

Instead, the Yankees seemed to feed off Huff's masterful 11-pitch performance in the fourth and scored eight times in the bottom of the inning Monday afternoon en route to a 9-1 rout of the White Sox.

Huff allowed a run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 48 of 62 pitches for strikes, including 15 first-pitch strikes to 20 hitters after a rain delay of one hour, 53 minutes pressed him into relieving Phil Hughes, who recorded the first five outs.

"I was just attacking them," Huff said. "Fastballs, changeups and throw lots of strikes and I just tried to get that first pitch strike. It helps a lot. It's a totally different ballgame when you get that first strike."

The highlight of Huff's ninth appearance with New York came in the fourth when he retired Alexei Ramirez and Paul Konerko on fly outs sandwiched around a strikeout of Adam Dunn on a nasty changeup.

"When he came out and got through those guys, I was like, this is the same Huff we're going to get every time, I guess," Romine said. "That's a great thing because you kind of wait sometimes with new guys to figure out if he's going to be that consistent and he's been nothing but consistent for us. I was thinking we were going to need one and we got eight, so I was like, here we go, this is easy."

The Yankees made things look easy by putting together their most productive inning of the season as they had seven hits, capitalized on two errors and drew a walk in the bottom of the fourth. New York sent 13 men to the plate and the first seven reached in an inning that took 33 minutes to complete.

"After we scored all of those runs, I was just trying to put up another zero immediately after that," Huff said. "It worked out."

The Yankees won for the 15th time in 22 games and snapped a six-game losing streak to the White Sox despite not hitting a home run. They had three doubles and three infield singles, highlighted by Derek Jeter's RBI infield single that caromed off pitcher Dylan Axelrod. It gave Jeter 3,313 hits and moving him into a tie with Eddie Collins for ninth place on the all-time list.

"We hit some balls in the right places and there was some big hits involved and I thought our guys ran the bases and they were aggressive," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's part of the game. If the conditions are wet, it's probably not easy out there and we took advantage of it."

The other run-scoring hits for the Yankees included an infield single to third base on a tough hop by Mark Reynolds, a two-run single by Romine and RBI doubles by Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano. Jeter and Soriano scored the final two runs on a throwing error by Dunn at first base on a force attempt at second base.

"We had good at-bats. I think up and down the lineup guys were having good at-bats, swinging at good pitches," Jeter said. "It was just one of those innings. You don't see it happen too often. It's very difficult to do. We were fortunate the bounces went our way."

Huff lost his shutout when Konerko hit his 10th home run in the seventh, but by then the outcome was a foregone conclusion as the Yankees began taking several starters out.

Chicago dropped its fourth straight, a losing streak that followed a stretch of 16 wins in 23 games. During the last four games, the White Sox have allowed 27 runs, and the rain cost Jose Quintana (7-5) a chance to go deep into the game.

Quintana allowed Jeter's RBI single in the first and did not return after the delay. Axelrod was charged with a career-high eight runs (six earned) and gave up eight hits in 2 2/3 innings.

"It was just too long to be able to have (Quintana) go back out there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "After that, that early part when we got back in there was just terrible baseball. We have to play better than that if we're going to expect to win games. "

"Any time you have a rain (delay) and both starters are out of the game, it's a crapshoot after that," Konerko added. "We just lost the crapshoot today."

NOTES: RHP Preston Claiborne was recalled from Single-A Tampa Bay, giving the Yankees an 11-man bullpen .... Chicago C Tyler Flowers will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes exploratory shoulder surgery with a recovery time of three to six months. ... The White Sox said that LHP Hector Santiago will be pushed back to Thursday in Baltimore, leaving open the possibility of prospect RHP Erik Johnson making his major league debut in New York Wednesday. Johnson is expected to be promoted Tuesday along with RHP Daniel Webb, IF Marcus Semien and C Miguel Gonzalez.
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