The New York Yankees on Sunday edged out the Chicago White Sox by a score of 5-4 (box score) to earn a sweep of their fellow American League contenders. The win is the sixth in a row for the Yankees and pushes them to a season-best nine games above .500 and keeps them in the thick of things in the hotly competitive AL East. Aaron Boone's squad is now 16-5 for May.
For the Yankees, coming in the story was their excellent starting pitching, which has been particularly dominant of late:
On Sunday, Jameson Taillon kept it going with a scoreless five inning start of his own. His effort means Yankee starting pitchers have now twirled 35 straight scoreless innings, a streak that began with Corey Kluber's no-hitter against the Rangers on Wednesday.
Taillon handed a 3-0 lead to the Yankee bullpen, but then the White Sox began powering their way back. Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and Yasmani Grandal followed with a solo shot in the seventh. In the bottom of the ninth, lockdown closer Aroldis Chapman was tasked with protecting a 4-3 lead, but Chicago rookie Andrew Vaughn mashed a pinch-hit home run to saddle Chapman with his first earned run of the season:
Chapman escaped further damage, and that put the Yankees in position to walk if off in the home half. Clint Frazier notched a leadoff single and a stolen base on a Brett Gardner strikeout. Then after a brief mound visit, White Sox manager Tony La Russa ordered an intentional walk of DJ LeMahieu so as to gain the platoon advantage on the light-hitting Tyler Wade. Wade, however, managed a well placed grounder that allowed him to use his elite speed to reach first safely. That loaded the bases for Aaron Judge. La Russa summoned his closer Liam Hendriks, who hadn't pitched since Wednesday.
Here's the 3-1 pitch to Judge with the bases loaded and the game tied:
Like the tweet says, that's Judge's first career walk-off. It's also the Yankees' fourth walk-off win of the season.
The Yankees get an off day on Monday followed by a key divisional stretch that will see them face the Blue Jays, Rays, and Red Sox 10 times in a span of 13 games. As for the White Sox, they remain in first place in the AL Central, but they've dropped four of five since the "home run on a 3-0 count" controversy.