- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Once the Chicago White Sox were unable to solve Ivan Nova’s sinker, they had little chance the rest of the way.

Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman combined for eight strikeouts and scoreless relief as the New York Yankees used their three big bullpen arms in the same game for the first time Saturday to secure a 2-1 victory.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “If you don’t get anything early you’re going to end up with that back end of the bullpen.”

Jose Quintana (5-2) pitched seven strong innings in a hard-luck loss for Chicago. The left-hander, let go by the Yankees when he was in the low minors, entered leading the AL with a 1.38 ERA that rose to 1.54.

Quintana won his previous four starts, compiling a 0.64 ERA over 28 innings.

Todd Frazier homered in the fourth inning, but the White Sox managed only five hits. Jose Abreu and Brett Lawrie were stranded after two-out doubles.

Nova pitched neatly into the sixth to give New York’s ailing rotation a much-needed boost. Aaron Hicks hit an RBI double and Didi Gregorius, who went 3 for 3, added a run-scoring single with two outs in the second.

That was enough to squeeze past the stingy White Sox (24-13), who began the day with the best record and lowest ERA (3.13) in the American League. Frazier hit his 12th home run for Chicago, which has lost three of four overall - and 11 of the past 14 matchups with New York.

“It seemed like (Yankees manager Joe) Girardi couldn’t wait to get Betances in there,” Frazier said. “They dominated, and sometimes that’s going to happen. It’ll probably happen more for them.”

Making his second effective start this season in place of injured CC Sabathia, and only hours after the last-place Yankees put struggling Luis Severino on the disabled list, Nova (2-1) gave up four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Featuring a sharp sinker, he got 13 of his 17 outs on grounders and handed a 2-1 lead to the team’s imposing bullpen after walking Frazier on his 74th pitch.

“His sinker was great today. We kept beating it into the ground,” Ventura said.

From there, it was lights out.

Betances struck out all four batters he faced, Miller fanned two in a one-hit eighth and Chapman whiffed a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save. Chapman hit 102 mph on the stadium radar gun and finished a crisp game that took only 2 hours, 24 minutes.

“All of them are closers, really,” Ventura said.

It was exactly the sort of end-game formula the Yankees had in mind when they acquired Chapman from Cincinnati for four prospects in December. The hard-throwing lefty joined the team Monday after serving a 29-game suspension under baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

One day after Chicago ace Chris Sale threw a six-hitter for a 7-1 win in the series opener, the Yankees mustered little offense again.

Quintana walked Chase Headley with two outs in the second before Hicks doubled over the head of right fielder Adam Eaton. Gregorius followed with a single that made it 2-0.

“That base on balls against Headley, that changed the ballgame for me, I think,” Quintana said.

Gregorius had to stop at third on Austin Romine’s ground-rule double, and New York never scored again.

Not a problem, though.

“We got the three-headed monster to finish the game,” Gregorius said.


Quintana went 10-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 30 games (12 starts) for high-Class A Tampa in New York’s farm system in 2011. He became a minor league free agent after the season and wanted a spot on the 40-man roster to re-sign with the Yankees, general manager Brian Cashman said. They balked. “We liked him. We didn’t love him,” Cashman said Saturday. “He was a performer, but not someone with ceiling.” Cashman said the White Sox were the only team to offer Quintana a 40-man roster spot, and now they’re reaping the rewards.


Chicago has dropped 12 of its last 14 games at Yankee Stadium.


Yankees: After missing seven games since straining a right hip muscle on May 6, CF Jacoby Ellsbury entered on defense in the eighth. He is likely to start Sunday, Girardi said.


White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (0-0, 4.91 ERA) makes his third start for Chicago in the series finale Sunday. He is 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 12 career starts against the Yankees.

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.11) tries to rebound from a rough outing against Kansas City, the first time this season he gave up more than two earned runs.

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