The game took a cruel turn in the bottom of the inning, when Yankees outfield prospect Dustin Fowler — making his Major League debut — was carted off after injuring his right knee chasing a foul ball in right field.
Shields limited the damage to a Ronald Torreyes RBI single and an RBI groundout over a season-high 6 1/3 innings on 81 pitches. Shields was on the hook for three runs (two earned), as the 2016 MLB home runs allowed leader keep his opponent away from the long ball for the first time this season.
“I felt good, for the most part,” Shields said. “I was a little inconsistent throughout the game but made pitches when I needed to. The outfield did a phenomenal job, and the infield as well, of having my back.”
“Obviously, he finished him off,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Robertson’s punchout. “He did a nice job attacking the strike zone, got ahead. Judge put a couple good swings on him, too, fouled a couple pitches straight back and he was able to finish him.”
The White Sox had lost eight of their last 10 games, with the series finale win moving Chicago to 2-5 amid a 10-game homestand. The Yankees are 3-8 over their past 11 road games.
“Our guys continue to give us a chance to win. I love it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “They continue to fight and I applaud them for their efforts because we’ve been through a lot in the last 10 days or so. Today is probably one of the tougher nights, what we witnessed tonight, but they keep fighting.”
Yankees right-hander Luis Cessa surrendered four runs (two earned) in his third start of the season. He allowed the unearned runs in the second inning, then gave up the big hit as Willy Garcia — making his first start since June 18 — laced a two-run double to give the White Sox a two-run lead. Cessa worked 4 2/3 innings on 89 pitches.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Next man up: Rob Refsnyder took over in right field following Fowler’s exit with a season-ending injury. With a runner on in the second and two outs, Adam Engel hit a slicing liner that popped in and out of Refsnyder’s glove, allowing Yolmer Sanchez to score and tie the game. Chicago took a 2-1 lead one batter later as Omar Narvaez singled Engel home.
All rise … or not: Trailing by two runs in the fifth inning, Judge hit a fly ball to left field that appeared deep enough to be Judge’s Majors-leading 28th homer of the season. White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera — who’d recorded his seventh outfield assist earlier in the game — made a leaping grab at the fence and slowly revealed to the crowd he’d made the catch. He promptly bowed, keeping the game at 4-2.
“It was funny because when I threw it, Judge kind of slammed his bat a little bit so I figured it was a pop fly,” Shields said. “I actually thought it was a home run because [Cabrera] didn’t show the ball quite right away.”
“I got it off the end of the bat,” Judge said. “I knew it right away. I kind of lost it; I didn’t know actually where it went. I started running and thought it was going to be an outfielder coming in. I just missed it.” More >>
“That’s Melky, man. He likes to have fun in this game, but he plays the game hard. It was a great catch”. — Shields, on Cabrera taking a bow after robbing Judge
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The White Sox elected to intentionally walk Judge with none on and two outs in a one-run game in the seventh, making Judge the first Yankees player to be intentionally walked with none on since Jason Giambi on July 7, 2003. The other Yankees who have been intentionally walked with no one on are Reggie Jackson, Andy Kosco and Mickey Mantle.
“It’s just respect,” Renteria said. “You want to put yourself in the best position possible to get the matchup that you want. It worked out. It was a good thing today.”
ON THE MEND
After colliding with a short wall down the right-field line, Fowler was diagnosed with an open rupture to the patellar tendon in his right knee. He was sent to nearby Rush University and underwent surgery performed by White Sox team physician Charles Bush-Joseph.
“I think that everybody, when that play happened, felt bad,” Cabrera said through interpreter Billy Russo. “You know how important and how emotional it is when you are making your debut in the Majors, and for all of us that are in that moment, it’s really a heartbreaking situation.”
Yankees: Michael Pineda (7-4, 4.12 ERA) will try to bounce back from his roughest outing of the year on Friday as the Yankees open a three-game series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Pineda permitted seven runs and three homers, both season highs, in his last outing vs. Texas. He lost to the Astros on May 11 in New York.
White Sox: Veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 3.73) takes the mound Friday as the White Sox open a three-game set at home against the Rangers at 7:10 p.m. CT. Pelfrey has allowed three or fewer runs in all but two of his 13 outings (12 starts) this season.
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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago and covered the White Sox on Thursday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.