CHICAGO – Andre Rienzo faced Derek Jeter three times, and it did not go very well for the young right-hander.
Rienzo allowed three of Jeter’s four hits, part of shaky five-inning outing that sent the White Sox to a 7-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday.
“Man. He’s good,” said Rienzo, who turns 26 on June 5. “The first one is cutter, the second one is inside, and the third is cutter, too. He’s a winner. I hope I would win, but it’s OK.”
Rienzo (4-1) struck out seven, but gave up four earned runs and seven hits in his first career start against the Yankees. He pitched six effective innings in his previous game at Kansas City.
“It seemed all day he was working from behind,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He wasn’t getting ahead. He just wasn’t as sharp as he’s been in previous outings – and it cost him.”
Brett Gardner had a big two-run single in New York’s four-run second inning as the Yankees closed out an extended stay in Chicago with a pair of wins against the Sox. Brian Roberts added a solo homer in the eighth in his return to the lineup after missing a game with a sore right knee.
“Everyone contributed today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Masahiro Tanaka (7-1) pitched into the seventh inning as New York improved to 3-3 on its unusual nine-game trip to Chicago and St. Louis. The Yankees split two games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and then had another split in their four-game set on Chicago’s South Side.
Conor Gillaspie had two hits and drove in a run for the Sox, who had won eight consecutive home games against New York before Saturday’s 4-3 loss in 10 innings. Gillaspie is batting .364 (20 for 55) in his past 15 games.
Jeter once again heard loud cheers throughout the day in what likely was his final game in Chicago. The 13-time All-Star plans to retire after the season.
“It’s one of my favorite cities, and the way the fans have treated me these two series here, it’s been tremendous,” Jeter said. “It’s something I’ll always remember.”
The Sox honored Jeter with a pregame video and presented the 39-year-old shortstop with three gifts: a baseball-themed bench made by former Sox and Yankees player Ron Kittle, enclosed infield clay from the shortstop area at U.S. Cellular Field and a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.
Jeter waved to the sellout crowd of 39,142 after he received the gifts from White Sox slugger Paul Konerko, who also plans to retire after the season. He also acknowledged the home dugout, where the White Sox applauded the pregame ceremony from the top step.
“I was happy that Konerko was out there,” Jeter said. “He’s a guy that you know I respect as much as anyone in the game and what he’s done for that organization.”
Once the game started, it was all business for the captain.
Jeter drove in Roberts with his second single in the second. He tripled past diving center fielder Adam Eaton in the fourth and scored on Rienzo’s wild pitch, and then added another run-scoring single in the sixth.
“That’s just stuff we’ve seen forever,” Ventura said.
The crowd gave Jeter a standing ovation when he batted for the last time in the eighth, and then applauded again when he struck out swinging to end the inning. It was Jeter’s first four-hit game since a 9-6 loss at the Sox on Aug. 20, 2012.
New York’s 10-hit attack was more than enough for Tanaka, who allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Japanese right-hander struck out six and walked two in his 10th major league start.
Tanaka was coming off a 6-1 loss to the lowly Cubs on Tuesday that ended his unbeaten streak at 42 regular-season starts.
“I wanted the ball to go down and that’s why I made some tweaks to my mechanics,” Tanaka said through a translator.
Tanaka had been 34-0 in Japan and North America the last two seasons, though he did drop Game 6 of the Japan Series last year before earning the save in Game 7.