Reynaldo Lopez hit hard, Yankees beat White Sox 8-4

CHICAGO — Gleyber Torres hit a two-run homer and the New York Yankees stayed perfect when they use an opener, cooling off the Chicago White Sox with an 8-4 win Saturday night.

Torres capped New York’s four-run fourth with his 15th homer, a drive to center off Reynaldo López. He also had a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Gary Sánchez added three RBIs as New York leapfrogged Tampa Bay for the AL East lead with just its fourth win in its last 12 games. Cameron Maybin connected for his second homer, and Didi Gregorius had two hits.

The Yankees have been battling the Rays for the division lead for much of the season, and it looks as if help is on the way — in the form of another feared slugger for their potent lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that New York is close to obtaining Edwin Encarnación in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed.

ESPN was the first to report the move. It was not immediately known what the Yankees might send to the Mariners.

Chicago had won five of six to get back to .500 for the first time since April 5. But it was unable to overcome another shaky performance by López (4-7), who permitted five runs and six hits in six innings after the start of the game was delayed 32 minutes by rain.

Catcher Welington Castillo and manager Rick Renteria were ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the eighth. It was Castillo’s second career ejection.

James McCann replaced Castillo and hit a three-run homer off Jonathan Holder in the bottom half. But Eloy Jiménez struck out swinging to end the inning, and New York added another run in the ninth when Gregorius walked with the bases loaded.

The Yankees improved to 5-0 this year when employing an opener, with Chad Green starting each one of those victories. The right-hander struck out six in two dominant innings against the White Sox.

After Green departed, Nestor Cortes Jr. (1-0) pitched five-plus innings for his first major league win. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked none.

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