CHICAGO - If Mark Teixeira's first half didn't propel him into the early discussion of the American League's MVP candidates, the start to his second half certainly should.
Teixeira piggybacked a two-homer performance Thursday night against the Rangers by going deep twice in his first three plate appearances last night against the White Sox. He also doubled, going 3-for-4 with two walks and six RBIs in the Yankees' 13-6 victory in front of 30,359 at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Insane," Brendan Ryan said of Teixeira, who is batting .457 (21-for-46) with six homers and 11 RBIs in his last 12 games. "You can't ask for much more."
The Yankees (58-44), who had 18 hits -- three each by Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brendan Ryan -- and nine walks, improved to 5-3 on this three-city, 10-game trip and maintained a six-game lead in the AL East.
"After a really tough loss yesterday [7-6 to the Rangers], I thought our guys bounced back great," Joe Girardi said.
Teixeira's second-inning grand slam highlighted a five-run inning against lefthander Carlos Rodon that gave Nathan Eovaldi a 6-0 lead. Teixeira's two-run shot off righthander Matt Albers sparked a five-run fourth that made it 11-2.
Teixeira's two monstrous blasts gave him 28 homers and an AL-best 73 RBIs. All four of his homers in the last two games have gone to centerfield. "It's been good since the All-Star break," he said. "Just seeing the ball really well right now. The bat's feeling quick and I'm getting some good pitches to hit."
The home run against Albers gave Teixeira a major-league record. It was the 14th time in his career that he homered from both sides of the plate in the same game, breaking a tie with former teammate Nick Swisher.
"It's a good record to have, it's a cool record to have," Teixeira said, "but hopefully I'll add to it."
All of it was almost an embarrassment of offensive riches for Eovaldi (11-2, 4.30), who has gotten plenty of offensive support. Entering the game, he had been given an average of 7.09 runs per game, the second-highest in the majors.
Eovaldi is 6-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last eight starts and has allowed three or fewer runs in 12 of his last 13 starts, although he wasn't quite as sharp Friday night, giving up three runs and seven hits in 52/3 innings.
With two outs in the first, Alex Rodriguez, 9-for-25 in the trip's first seven games, ripped the first pitch he saw into the gap in left-center. It was his 534th double, tying him with Lou Gehrig for 37th all-time. Teixeira walked and Beltran, just 3-for-22 on the trip at that point, yanked an RBI double over the third-base bag to make it 1-0. It was the Yankees' 90th first-inning run this season, marking the most runs by any club in any inning.
The floodgates started to pour open in the second, when Teixeira hit his 10th career grand slam and second of the season, and five more came across in the fourth, when he homered again.
It got so out of hand that Adam LaRoche, who had four hits for the White Sox, pitched a perfect ninth. He struck out Ryan, who discarded his bat with a smile after laying off a 50-mph curveball and then swinging through a high 85-mph fastball. "It's not fun," he said. "But you have to have fun with it."
There was a lot of that for the Yankees Friday night.