Swisher Drives In Four As CC, Yankees Unravel Chisox

It’s not like the life of the party Nick Swisher to take so much time to show up for one. But when the veteran right-fielder does he makes a grand entrance.
Swisher broke an 0-for-19 slide with a two singles, his first home run of the season and four RBIs to lead New York to an easy 12-3 victory over Chicago on Thursday and a split of their four-game home series.
The Yankees broke out of a slump of their own in the fifth inning. In the first three games of the series, they had managed to score five runs on 13 hits. Thanks to four consecutive walks and a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly in the third inning, they took a 2-0 lead without the benefit of a hit.
But they pounded Jackson (2-3) for four consecutive hits to knock him out of the game and they added three hits and two walks off reliever Tony Pena to increase the lead to 8-0 and they never looked back.
CC Sabathia (2-1) pitched seven innings and gave up three runs (none of them earned) on seven hits and one walk. He fanned six to extend his career record against the White Sox to 17-4.
With the victory, the Yankees improved their season record to 14-8 and they have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The White Sox dropped to 10-16.
  • Swisher began the game hitting .208 and had not hit a home run all season. He drove in a run in the third on a bases-loaded walk, had a RBI single and scored in the six-run fifth, singled in the sixth and finished with a two-run home run to the second deck in right-field in the seventh. The hitting spree raised his average to .237.
  • Handed an 8-0 lead, Sabathia cruised to his second victory. A throwing error by shortstop Eduardo Nunez on what would have been the third out of the seventh inning allowed the White Sox to score three unearned runs. Since April 23, Yankee starting pitchers have given up six earned runs on 31 hits and nine walks over 43 1/3 innings with 31 strikeouts. That is a collective ERA of 1.25 over the past six games.
  • Brett Gardner started off the six-run fifth inning with a leadoff solo home run off Jackson. It was his third home run of the season. He added a walk and a single, scored three runs and stole a base. Here is a strange anomaly: Gardner has three home runs and four steals this season.
  • Curtis Granderson hit leadoff for the first time in his Yankee career and he walked, tripled and drove in two runs. He and Swisher combined to drive in half the Yankee runs.
  • Nunez started at shortstop to give Derek Jeter a night off and he did not distinguish himself in the field. He made two errors on the night. Jeter has committed only one error all season. However, Nunez was 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk, stole a base and scored three runs.
  • Now that Swisher has ended his slide, the attention now shifts to Jorge Posada. Posada was was 0-for-4 with an RBI on a bases-loaded walk on Thursday. He now has not had a hit in his last 15 at-bats. He is hitting only .130.
  • It is a real picky point but the Gardner, Nunez and Granderson each failed in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Gardner and Granderson struck out and Nunez popped out to shortstop. By that time they had to have been tired after a 33-minute inning in which the team scored six runs.
Mark Teixeira did not start and was unavailable to play on Thursday because of a jammed right shoulder that he sustained diving for a ball in Tuesday’s game. Teixeira played Wednesday night but left in favor of Eric Chavez in the eighth inning. He is listed as day-to-day.  . . .  Right-hander Phil Hughes will visit a specialist in St. Louis to confirm if he is suffering what is called thoracic outlet syndrome. Dr. Robert William Thompson will examine Hughes and determine if TOS is causing the pitcher’s fatigue in his arm. If the diagnosis is confirmed Hughes would have to have surgery to remove a rib and would be lost for the rest of the season.  . . .  Veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood was 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA before he made his third minor-league start at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. But he did not fare well. Millwood gave up six runs on seven hits, including two home runs, in two innings. However, the Yankees have only until May 1 to recall Millwood or release him. General manager Brian Cashman said they are looking at Millwood as a starter but they also could ask him pitch in the bullpen as they did earlier in the season with Bartolo Colon. 
The Yankees will begin a three-game weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
The Yankees will send to the mound right-hander Freddy Garcia (1-0, 0.69 ERA), who has pitched two consecutive games of shutout baseball over six innings in his first two starts as a Yankee. In the last 10 years, he is 6-5 with 6.10 ERA against the Jays.
The Blue Jays will start left-hander Ricky Romero (1-3, 3.00 ERA). Romero gave up only two runs on five hits and fanned 10 over seven innings but still lost to Tampa Bay in his last start. He is 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.
Game-time will be at 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.

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