A dismal end to a dreary trip

Wednesday night’s 6-5, 12-inning loss to the White Sox was downright painful for the Yankees. It was a somewhat fitting conclusion to an absolutely dreadful trip. It started out all right with a split of a two-game series at Los Angeles against a hot Dodgers team, then went downhill from there with two losses in three games at San Diego and a three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly White Sox at Chicago.

In the final game of the trip, the White Sox came back twice in the game, nullifying a good start by CC Sabathia in regulation and nullifying Robinson Cano’s first home run since July 10 in extra innings. In both instances, the White Sox were one strike away from losing the game, and in both instances they did what the Yankees failed to do most of the game – hit in the clutch.

The Yankees had only one hit in 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game and were 3-for-33 (.091) in such situations for the series. Of the 12 base runners they stranded Wednesday night, 10 were in scoring position.

Cano’s homer leading off the 12th was a good sign for the All-Star second baseman who struggled repeatedly on the trip. The 431-foot blast to right-center off Dylan Axelrod was only the fifth hit in 30 at-bats (.167) on the trip for Cano, who had gone 81 at-bats without a home run and 43 at-bats without an RBI since July 24.

The White Sox struck against Mariano Rivera with two out and nobody on base in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score and did so again against Adam Warren (1-2) with two down and no one on in the bottom of the 12th to win the game. When they were one strike from losing the game, White Sox hitters combined to go 5-for-5.

Warren hurt himself when he reached for a chop over the mound by Tyler Flowers, knocking the ball down but inadvertently preventing Cano from making a play on the slow moving catcher. Alexi Ramirez followed with a single to left-center that put the potential tying run at third base. Not satisfied with just tying the game, Alejandro De Aza scored both runners with a triple to right-center.

The 2-6 trip dropped the Yankees’ record to merely one game over .500 at 57-56. They are 11 ½ games out of first place in the American League East and seven games behind for the second wild-card spot. Having played 15 of their past 18 games on the road, the Yankees will welcome a return to the Bronx, although they will be thrown right back into the fire in facing the AL Central leading Tigers in a three-game set starting Friday night.

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