NEW YORK (AP) — Gleyber Torres homered late and singled home the winning run in the ninth inning as the New York Yankees — moments after a turning a clutch triple play — beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Friday night following one of the most overpowering displays of starting pitching in major league history.
White Sox lefty Carlos Rodón and counterpart Jordan Montgomery combined for 24 strikeouts during the first game since 1900 in which both starters had at least 10 punchouts while permitting no walks or runs, according to Stats.
After arriving at Yankee Stadium with the American League’s best record, Chicago put two runners on to open the ninth against closer Aroldis Chapman (3-0).
Prized rookie Andrew Vaughn hit a sharp grounder toward third, where Gio Urshela stepped on the bag and went around the horn to nip Vaughn and suddenly end the inning as first baseman Luke Voit make a long stretch.
Chapman, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 18 appearances this year, pumped a fist and smiled wide coming off the mound.
Judge singled leading off the bottom half against Evan Marshall (0-2), who pitched out of a major jam in the eighth by getting a line-drive double play. Judge went to second on Urshela’s single and slid safely across the plate after Torres ripped a sharp single through the left side for his fifth career walkoff hit.
New York improved to a season-high seven games over .500.
Featuring a wipeout slider that tied right-handed hitters in knots as it swept across the plate, Rodón paired that 85-87 mph signature pitch with a pinpoint 97-98 mph fastball to strike out a career-high 13 in six innings of two-hit ball. He was pulled by Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa after 95 pitches.
Rodón, nearly perfect in a no-hitter April 14 against Cleveland, is putting together a sensational breakout season. On this night, he became the first pitcher to strike out the first five Yankees batters in a road game since Dodgers great Sandy Koufax in the 1963 World Series opener, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Montgomery wasn’t quite as overpowering — but just as effective. He struck out a career-best 11 and scattered four hits over seven innings, throwing 68 of 90 pitches for strikes.
Both left-handers bailed out teammates after big defensive blunders, too. Each one was coming off a rough outing — Rodón a loss to Kansas City that marked his first of the season following five straight wins.
Before a Yankee Stadium season-high crowd of 14,011 as pandemic restrictions eased, Torres homered off Michael Kopech to the short right-field porch in the seventh, a drive projected at 345 feet that would not have left any other ballpark in the majors, according to Statcast.
Yoán Moncada then sent what appeared to be a base hit into right, but Judge deked Madrigal into thinking he might catch the line drive on a fly. Madrigal held up, Judge grabbed the ball on a hop and threw out Madrigal at second base for a fielder’s choice.
White Sox: 1B José Abreu returned to the lineup after missing three consecutive games in Minnesota with left ankle inflammation.
Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks will have surgery for a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that will sideline him for months and possibly the rest of the season. … OF Clint Frazier (neck) sat out his fourth straight game. He told the staff he was ready to play, but first he was scheduled to meet with team physicians before the game, manager Aaron Boone said. … Boone said he thought LHP Zack Britton was slated to play catch Friday and then possibly throw a bullpen Sunday. If that goes well, he would probably begin a delayed rehab assignment after that. Britton felt soreness after throwing last Saturday. He’s on the 60-day injured list after surgery March 15 to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow. … Pitching coach Matt Blake and first base coach Reggie Willits returned to the team. They had been away after testing positive for COVID-19.
RHP Gerrit Cole (5-2, 2.03 ERA) starts Saturday afternoon in the middle game of the series against Dylan Cease (2-0, 2.41), who makes his first career appearance versus the Yankees. Cole is coming off a 5-2 loss Monday at Texas, where the $324 million ace allowed a season-high five earned runs in five innings. His 85 strikeouts are the most by a Yankees pitcher through the first nine starts of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
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