CHICAGO (AP) — The New York Yankees already are showing signs of busting out offensively, even before they add three big-time power hitters to their lineup in the coming days.
James Paxton pitched six effective innings, Brett Gardner and Austin Romine each had four RBIs and New York cruised past the Chicago White Sox 10-3 on Sunday.
Gardner and Romine, the backup catcher behind Gary Sánchez, each drove in two runs with singles in New York’s five-run third. Cameron Maybin added a solo shot in the seventh as the Yankees homered for the 19th straight game, and pulled away to win their second straight and gain a split of the four-game series.
“I thought our guys up and down the lineup today did a really good job of getting on base,” Gardner said. “Doing a good job of being aggressive in the zone, which is kind of our MO.”
Romine, playing in his 29th game, made the most of his opportunities with a timely single and double.
“As a guy who doesn’t get too many at-bats, it feels real good to help a team out that’s winning and doing well,” Romine said.
And more help is on the way for the Yankees, who have scored 18 runs combined in their past two games.
Edwin Encarnación, the AL home run leader, will join them in New York on Monday and is expected to be available in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay.
The Yankees acquired the 36-year-old in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night, adding another slugger to what could be one of the most powerful lineups when Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge return from injuries, starting this week. Manager Aaron Boone plans to use Encarnación as his team’s primary designated hitter.
“I think we’ve got one of the deepest, if not the deepest, roster in the league,” Gardner said. “Anytime you can add someone like Edwin, he’s a guy who’s going to make us better.”
Paxton (4-3) allowed eight hits and allowed two runs for his first win since April 26. The left-hander struck out seven and walked one after being roughed up by the Mets for six runs in 2 2/3 innings last Tuesday.
“He mixed his pitches well,” Boone said. “I thought he got a little bit even stronger as the game unfolded.”
José Abreu lined a solo shot among three hits and James McCann homered and had two RBIs as the White Sox slipped two games under .500.
Chicago’s Odrisamer Despaigne (0-2) allowed seven runs and nine hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings in his second career start.
Abreu’s 17th homer, a line shot to left, put Chicago ahead 1-0 in the first.
The Yankees took advantage of Despaigne’s wildness in the third to take a 5-1 lead.
“I was feeling good at the beginning of the game.” Despaigne said through a translator. “Then in the third inning, I started falling behind in the count.
“That’s not a good deal when you fall behind in the count with those kind of hitters because you’re going to pay for it and I paid for it.”
New York sent 10 batters to the plate, using three walks and five singles in the rally. All the runs scored with two outs.
Gardner’s single drove in two. Gio Urshela followed with an RBI single up the middle. Romine’s single to center scored two more.
Romine’s double in the fifth made it 7-1 and chased Despaigne.
To make room for Encarnación on the roster, the Yankees optioned OF Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game. Boone said it was difficult to tell Frazier about the move “because he’s played a big role on a winning team.” The 24-year-old has hit .283 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 53 games.
The White Sox optioned right-hander reliever Thyago Vieira to Triple-A Charlotte and said a corresponding move will be made Tuesday.
Yankees: Boone said he expects Stanton to be activated Tuesday after being sidelined since March 31 by biceps, shoulder and calf injuries. Stanton will wrap up a three-game stint with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday night, then travel to New York on Monday. … Judge, who strained his left oblique in late April, will play in the outfield for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday. … Boone rested Didi Gregorius on Sunday. Gregorius missed the start of the season after he had Tommy John surgery last October.
White Sox: INF Yoán Moncada returned to the lineup at third base after missing four games with upper back tightness, but the condition flared up and he was replaced by José Rondon in the fifth. … C Welington Castillo left in the fourth with lower back tightness and was replaced by McCann. … Dylan Covey, on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and said he “took a step in the right direction.”
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (4-5, 3.58) takes the mound as New York opens a three-game home series against Tampa Bay. The Rays had not named a starter. Tanaka is 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA in his past three starts.
White Sox: RHP Iván Nova (3-5, 6.28) faces Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98) on Tuesday night in the first of a two-game crosstown series at Wrigley Field. Hamels has not allowed an earned run over 22 innings in his past three starts.
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