Jeter gets 4 hits but pitchers get roughed up in Yankees loss
CHICAGO -- The Yankees' bullpen has been decent to good, even very good, much of the season.
Monday night, it stunk like the stockyards that are so much a part of this city's history.
On a night Freddy Garcia didn't have it, neither did many of the relievers Joe Girardi turned to as the Yankees wasted a four-hit game by Derek Jeter in a 9-6 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
"The bullpen struggled tonight," Girardi said. "It hasn't been something they've done very often this year. They'll bounce back . . . You know it's going to happen at times but when it does, it kind of surprises you."
The Yankees (72-50) saw their lead in the AL East trimmed to four games over the Rays.
Jeter went 4-for-5, including a home run and a double, to tie Eddie Murray for 11th on the all-time hits list at 3,255. His first-inning single had tied Nap Lajoie at 3,252. Next up for Jeter is one of the sport's immortals -- Willie Mays, who had 3,283 hits.
Jeter, batting .326, also scored his 1,345th run, passing Craig Biggio and putting him in sole possession of 13th place. His fourth hit was a solo homer, his 11th, that pulled the Yankees to within 5-4 in the sixth.
"It's pretty amazing," Girardi said of Jeter's continued march up various career lists.
Amazing would be the word choice to cover much of what the manager sent to the mound, starting with Garcia.
The 35-year-old allowed -- with the help, or lack of help, of three relievers who couldn't keep inherited runners from scoring -- five runs in the fifth as the Central-leading White Sox (66-55) turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
"It's really disappointing," said Garcia, who struck out eight to match a season high. "Something happened and I couldn't find the strike zone."
But it would be short-lived. Joba Chamberlain, who allowed Dayan Viciedo's single that brought in an inherited runner in the fifth, gave up a solo homer to No. 9 hitter Gordon Beckham to lead off the sixth to tie it at 6.
Boone Logan (4-2) took the baton in the sixth, but dropped it in the seventh, allowing Alexei Ramirez's two-run homer that put the White Sox ahead for good. Derek Lowe got into the act in the eighth as Adam Dunn crushed his league-leading 36th home run to make it 9-6.
Chamberlain is the immediate concern. Since being activated July 31, the righthander, away 14 months recovering from Tommy John surgery and then a trampoline ankle injury, has allowed six runs and 13 hits in six innings.
It's not out of the question the 26-year-old is sent to the minors to work things out when CC Sabathia is activated from the disabled list, likely on Friday.
"We've said all along with Tommy John, it's [command is] inconsistent when they first come back," Girardi said. "We're trying to get him back to where he was before he got hurt. Right now, he's scuffling a little bit."
Chamberlain acknowledges as much. "Fourteen months is a long time to be away from doing anything," Chamberlain said. "You obviously don't use that as an excuse but you've got to figure out what worked for you before in previous years and try to add to it."
The reliever breezed through his rehab outings but didn't expect it to be without struggles at this level.
"You expect to go out and be good, you don't expect anything less," he said. "If you did, you might as well go pick something else, go push a cart at a grocery store because you can always be good at that. But it's a tough game. Our game is set up to fail. You have to understand what it's about, what it takes and to keep grinding."