CHICAGO — Turns out — by a long shot — the best news for the Yankees on Friday occurred about 800 miles away in Durham, North Carolina.
It was there that Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge took significant steps toward returning, with both starting for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and making it through their rehab outings successfully.
Stanton, slated to return to the Yankees perhaps as early as Tuesday, played his scheduled six innings in rightfield. He went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts and a home run to left that one talent evaluator in attendance called “an absolute moonshot.”
Judge, not as far along as Stanton but still likely to return at some point during the upcoming 10-game homestand, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as the DH.
The news here at Guaranteed Rate Field?
Put it this way — Yankees fans who chose to take in a movie or go out for a late dinner or do just about anything other than watch their team were fortunate.
Again getting a poor outing from a starter, the Yankees fell for the eighth time in 11 games in a 10-2 loss to the White Sox in front of 31,438.
“It’s a little frustrating but it’s going to happen,” said Luke Voit, who homered in the first inning, then saw the Yankees get outscored 10-0 until the ninth. “It’s a long season. I believe in all these guys.”
The Yankees (41-27) were outhit 16-6, with that number 15-2 through six innings.
CC Sabathia didn’t have much, especially his cutter, in his latest attempt at career victory No. 250 as he allowed six runs (five earned) and 10 hits in 4 2⁄3 innings. The big blow was a three-run homer by rookie Eloy Jimenez, who hit another three-run blast off Luis Cessa in the sixth that made it 10-1.
“That was the big reason,” Sabathia said of the cutter. “It just wasn’t there, it wasn’t moving a lot. Have to try and figure something out between now] and Wednesday to try and make that pitch a little better. My grip feels off. Everything about it feels off.”
Sabathia (3-4, 4.42) hasn’t had a great feel for the pitch for a couple of starts in a row, and he said Friday’s outing was particularly frustrating, given the state of the rotation.
“It’s tough, especially with us not pitching well right now,” he said. “You want to go out and help the team and I just wasn’t able to do that tonight.”
The White Sox (34-34), who got another good outing from breakout righthander Lucas Giolito, have won 11 of their last 16.
Giolito — who had been 9-1 with a 2.28 ERA, had not allowed a run in each of his two previous starts, and had given up one homer in his previous seven starts and only four all season — retired leadoff man DJ LeMahieu on a grounder, but Voit pounded a first-pitch slider to center for his 17th homer.
Giolito allowed that one run, hits and four walks in six innings-plus, striking out six. He departed with two on and two out in the seventh, but righty Juan Minaya got out of it.
Sabathia could not hold the lead provided by Voit as the White Sox sent nine men to the plate in the first.
He allowed a leadoff double by Leury Garcia, a one-out single by Jose Abreu, and the three-run blast, on a heart-of-the-plate cutter, to Jimenez with two outs that made it 3-1. Back-to-back walks and a single by Yolmer Sanchez gave the White Sox a 4-1 lead, and they got an unearned run, after Gio Urshela’s team-high 10th error, in the second to make it 5-1.
“Obviously, it’s been a tough stretch for us here these last 10 days or whatever it’s been,” Aaron Boone said. “It’s been a little bit of everything. We just haven’t played well enough to win consistently.”