NEW YORK (AP) Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman combined for eight strikeouts and scoreless relief as the New York Yankees used their three big bullpen arms in the same game for the first time Saturday to secure a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Ivan Nova pitched neatly into the sixth inning to give New York’s ailing rotation a much-needed boost. Aaron Hicks hit an RBI double and Didi Gregorius added a run-scoring single with two outs in the second.
That was enough to squeeze past the stingy White Sox (24-13), who began the day with the best record and lowest ERA (3.13) in the American League. Todd Frazier hit his 12th home run for Chicago, which has lost three of four overall – and 11 of the past 14 matchups with New York.
Jose Quintana (5-2) pitched seven strong innings in a hard-luck loss. The left-hander, let go by the Yankees when he was in the low minors, entered leading the AL with a 1.38 ERA. He won his previous four starts, compiling a 0.64 ERA over 28 innings during that stretch.
Making his second effective start this season in place of injured CC Sabathia, and only hours after the Yankees put struggling Luis Severino on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps, Nova (2-1) gave up four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two, walked one and handed a 2-1 lead to the imposing bullpen after walking Frazier on his 74th pitch.
From there, it was lights out.
Betances struck out all four batters he faced, Miller fanned two in a one-hit eighth and Chapman whiffed a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save, finishing a crisp game that took only 2 hours, 24 minutes.
It was exactly the sort of dominant formula the Yankees had in mind at the end of the game when they acquired Chapman from Cincinnati for four prospects in December.
The hard-throwing lefty joined the team Monday after serving a 29-game suspension under baseball’s new domestic violence policy.
One day after Chicago ace Chris Sale threw a six-hitter for a 7-1 win in the series opener, the Yankees mustered little offense again.
Gregorius had to stop at third on Austin Romine‘s ground-rule double, and New York never scored again.
Frazier homered with one out in the fourth.
Yankees: After missing seven straight games since straining a right hip muscle on May 6, Jacoby Ellsbury entered in center field as a defensive replacement in the eighth. He was scheduled to run before the game and manager Joe Girardi was hoping Ellsbury could start Sunday. … DH Alex Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) did some jogging on the warning track before the game and said he’s been swinging off a tee and taking soft toss. “So far, so good,” he said. Rodriguez said he was going to find out when he could start taking full batting practice.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (0-0, 4.91 ERA) makes his third start for Chicago in the series finale Sunday. He is 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.11) tries to rebound from a rough outing against Kansas City, the first time this season he gave up more than two earned runs.