The White Sox’s 8-1 victory over the Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night was really the side show.
The fact that the Sox halted their first 10-game losing streak since 1976 was pushed to the back burner by newly suspended Alex Rodriguez.
A mass of local and national media descended upon the South Side to talk about Rodriguez’s return to the Yankees lineup the same day he was suspended by Major League Baseball through 2014 for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
Many of the White Sox, who were not among those affected by the 13 player suspensions handed down on Monday, said they had other worries than the hoopla that surrounded the announcement and the Chicago appearance of Rodriguez, who is slated to play third base in the three-game series opener.
“You’ve seen this team play recently. I’ve got 99 problems and A-Rod ain’t one of them,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
“I think all of us just want to go out there and play,” Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “I don’t think all of this should affect us one way or the other.”
“That we have to talk about it, I think it’s stupid,” Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn said. “Twenty minutes before stretch, I don’t want to sit here and talk about things that don’t affect anyone on this team.”
The Sox took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when they strung together five singles off Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte. Alexei Ramirez, who led off with a single, first scored on Adam Dunn’s sacrifice fly to right field. Jeff Keppinger and Alex Rios added runs.
They padded the lead to 5-0 when Josh Phegley led off with a single, Keppinger doubled and Rios sent both home with a single.
The Sox made it 7-0 in the third inning, chasing Pettitte from the game after he gave up seven runs and 11 hits, struck out four and walked one in 2 2/3 innings. Preston Claiborne entered in relief.
Ramirez hit an RBI double in the sixth to put the Sox ahead 8-0, but the Yankees cut the deficit back to seven runs when Eduardo Nunez scored on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly.
Sox left-hander Jose Quintana went 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and one run in his bid for a memorable win against his former organization.
Dayan Viciedo left the game in the first with a jammed left thumb and is day to day. Alejandro De Aza, who was set to have the day off, entered at center field, and Casper Wells moved to left field. Paul Konerko was in the lineup at first base for Dunn.