DJ LeMahieu #26 of the Yankees connects on a second inning...

DJ LeMahieu #26 of the Yankees connects on a second inning grand slam home run against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Credit: Jim McIsaac

DJ LeMahieu hit a grand slam and Clay Holmes collected a four-out save as the Yankees continued their streak of domination Saturday, defeating the White Sox, 7-5, at Yankee Stadium in a contest that was overshadowed by a benches-clearing near-brawl in the fifth.

Holmes has not allowed a run in his last 19 appearances, a stretch of 21 innings. The Yankees have won 22 of their last 26 games, with three of those losses by a total of four runs.

The Yankees (29-10) pounced on a swiftly unraveling Dallas Keuchel in the second inning. With two on and one out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa lined a run-scoring single to rightfield.  Aaron Hicks walked with two outs to load the bases and bring up LeMahieu. He fell behind 0-and-2, but one hanging 2-and-2 cutter later, he drilled the Yankees' first grand slam of the season over the leaping Adam Engel into the short porch in right — a 341-foot Yankee Stadium special that gave them a 5-0 lead.

That was a good way for LeMahieu to celebrate reaching 10 years of major-league service time.

Some soft contact and then some very, very hard contact off Nestor Cortes cut that lead in the third, though. With one out, Tim Anderson hit a ball that was misplayed by Anthony Rizzo for an infield single, and Andrew Vaughn followed with a single of his own. With two outs, Jose Abreu obliterated Cortes’ 87.7-mph cutter, sending it to the second deck in left to make it 5-3.

It was the first time this season that Cortes, who came into the day with the lowest ERA in baseball at 1.35, allowed more than two earned runs in a start. He ended up pitching five innings, giving up those three runs with no walks and seven strikeouts. His ERA rose to 1.80, still by far the best in a rotation that’s second-best in MLB.  

Josh Donaldson’s run-scoring forceout in the bottom of the third put the Yankees up 6-3.

The White Sox scored twice in the sixth after Cortes was lifted for the usually untouchable Michael King. King, however, gave up back-to-back doubles by AJ Pollock and Leury Garcia to make it 6-4. A two-out double by Josh Harrison made it a one-run game.

In the bottom of the inning, the Yankees  loaded the bases against Jose Ruiz with two walks and a single before Rizzo hit a sacrifice fly to left for a 7-5 lead.

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