Yanks use big 3 in bullpen to secure 2-1 win over White Sox

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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.

Quintana walked Chase Headley with two outs in the second before Hicks doubled over the head of right fielder Adam Eaton. Gregorius followed with a single that made it 2-0.

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.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.