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Chicago at New York

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Chi. White Sox (84-68)100000001271
N.Y. Yankees (82-71) «20142000x9100

Abreu's big night against ChiSox gives Yanks' Mussina victory No. 18

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Mike Mussina and Bobby Abreu gave the New York Yankees the kind of sharp game the Chicago White Sox needed.

Abreu had two home runs and six RBI, Mussina kept up his hopes for a 20-win season and the Yankees drubbed the AL Central-leading White Sox 9-2 on Thursday night.

The White Sox have lost seven of 11 and their AL Central lead was cut to 1½ games over second-place Minnesota, which rallied to win 11-8 at Tampa Bay.

"We don't have anything going forward right now," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We can't play like that. It's going to be tough for us to compete."

Guillen noted before the game that several teams in playoff races were struggling. His club stumbled again heading into a weekend series at Kansas City.

Javier Vazquez (12-14) was ragged on three days of rest, and second baseman Alexi Ramirez let a grounder skip through his legs as the Yankees made it 7-1 in the fourth inning. Midway through the sixth, Ken Griffey Jr. and more than half of Chicago's starters had been pulled.

"I think we're missing something. I don't know what it is. Hopefully, we can get it back," White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.

Guillen wants to rely on his best pitchers down the stretch, and Vazquez made his first outing on short rest since 2004 -- he's 0-3 in such starts. The White Sox lost three of four in New York, and Guillen called the series "horrible."

The Yankees are almost sure to miss the postseason for the first time since starting their run in 1995. The feel is certainly different at Yankee Stadium -- Derek Jeter went over to a group of White Sox during batting practice and wished them well, should they reach October.

With only three games left before their ballpark closes, the Yankees would like to avoid being eliminated at home. New York also pulled some of its starters early, including Alex Rodriguez and his newly dyed blond locks, and won for the fifth time in six games.

"It was an example of how we could've played all year," Mussina said.

Mussina (18-9) earned his 268th victory, tying Hall of Famer Jim Palmer for 33rd on the career list. He gave up one run and five hits in six-plus innings, and still has a chance for his first career 20-win season with starts left at Toronto and Boston.

"The last ones are always the tough ones," he said.

Mussina waved his cap as he left the mound after Brian Anderson's leadoff double in the seventh. The crowd of 53,152 gave him a nice ovation.

"I won the last game I pitched at Yankee Stadium. It was worth tipping my hat," he said.

Abreu picked on a familiar victim, hitting an upper-deck shot to right and another long drive off Vazquez. Abreu has nine home runs in 71 at-bats against the White Sox righty -- the Yankees star has more career home runs and at-bats off Vazquez than any player in the majors.

"I feel very comfortable against him," Abreu said.

Abreu also had a two-run single on the first pitch from Horacio Ramirez and an RBI grounder. Paul Konerko hit a solo home run for the White Sox.

Notes

  • Abreu had his 13th career multihomer game and second this year.
  • Yankees RHP Humberto Sanchez, from South Bronx High School, and C Francisco Cervelli made their major league debuts when they entered in the eighth.
  • Yankees OF Johnny Damon missed the game. He was with his wife after she gave birth earlier in the day to daughter Danica. The name, Damon relayed through manager Joe Girardi, was not inspired by race driver Danica Patrick.
  • Emilio "Millito" Navarro, the oldest living professional baseball player, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Still spry a week before his 103rd birthday, he warmed up his arm, waved his hat and made a 30-foot toss on the fly to catcher Jorge Posada. Navarro played for New York's Cuban Stars of the Negro Leagues in 1928-29, but had never been to Yankee Stadium. Asked how the game had changed, his eyes widened and he mentioned the high salaries. "I made $25 a week," he said through a translator.
  • Among Guillen's fondest memories of Yankee Stadium: "I got my only five-hit game here." He did it on July 9, 1987.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Mussina's final start at Yankee Stadium is a solid one, and it gives him career victory No. 268.  (AP)
Mike Mussina's final start at Yankee Stadium is a solid one, and it gives him career victory No. 268. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Abreu
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 6
Chicago

P. Konerko
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Chicago White Sox
Orlando Cabrera, SS3120000 .282
    Josh Fields, 3B1000012 .156
A.J. Pierzynski, C3010001 .284
    Paul Phillips, C1000010 .000
Jermaine Dye, RF2000002 .291
    Jerry Owens, LF2010000 .250
Jim Thome, DH3000111 .244
Paul Konerko, 1B4112010 .244
Ken Griffey Jr., CF1000100 .247
    Brian Anderson, CF2010010 .237
Alexei Ramirez, 2B-SS2000003 .296
    Jason Bourgeois, 2B2010001 .333
Dewayne Wise, LF-RF3000131 .290
Juan Uribe, 3B-2B^SS4000003 .252
Totals3327238  
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (32, Mussina), Brian Anderson (13, Mussina), Jason Bourgeois (1, Britton)
HR - Paul Konerko (17, Britton)
RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (53)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Vazquez-Cabrera-Konerko
E - Alexei Ramirez (13, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (L,12-14) 3.2676442 4.32
Horacio Ramirez 0.2322200 4.29
Lance Broadway 1.2100110 7.43
Octavio Dotel 1000030 4.00
D.J. Carrasco 1000000 3.65
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 88-52, Horacio Ramirez 31-19, Lance Broadway 29-15, Octavio Dotel 12-9, D.J. Carrasco 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 4-2, Horacio Ramirez 1-2, Lance Broadway 4-0, D.J. Carrasco 1-2
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 20, Horacio Ramirez 8, Lance Broadway 7, Octavio Dotel 3, D.J. Carrasco 3
New York Yankees
Brett Gardner, CF4111120 .188
Derek Jeter, SS3221100 .306
    Cody Ransom, SS1000010 .333
Bobby Abreu, RF5236000 .299
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4010012 .304
    Wilson Betemit, 3B1000000 .262
Jason Giambi, DH3000121 .248
   a- Chad Moeller, PH-DH1000000 .220
Xavier Nady, LF4010003 .311
    Melky Cabrera, LF0000000 .243
Robinson Cano, 2B3220102 .264
Juan Miranda, 1B2100212 .000
Jose Molina, C3100113 .213
    Francisco Cervelli, C0000000 .000
Totals34910878  
a-flied out for Giambi in the 8th
Batting
HR - Bobby Abreu 2 (19, Vazquez, Vazquez)
RBI - Brett Gardner (11), Derek Jeter (69), Bobby Abreu 6 (95)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (28), Bobby Abreu 2 (41)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Cano-Jeter-Miranda
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,18-9) 6511240 3.57
Jose Veras 1000110 3.58
Humberto Sanchez 1000010 0.00
Chris Britton 1211021 4.09
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 97-61, Jose Veras 15-8, Humberto Sanchez 11-8, Chris Britton 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 6-7, Humberto Sanchez 2-0, Chris Britton 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 24, Jose Veras 4, Humberto Sanchez 3, Chris Britton 5
Game Information
Attendance - 53152
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Tim Welke