Aaron Boone did what he could to diffuse the Josh Donaldson-Tim Anderson feud on Sunday, and he wanted the Yankees to “hopefully just play ball.”
One day after tensions escalated over Donaldson referring to Anderson by Jackie Robinson’s first name, there were no fireworks between the teams or from the Yankees’ bats aside from Aaron Judge’s game-tying home run in the eighth inning.
But Aroldis Chapman’s troubling two-week skid continued in the ninth of a 3-1 loss to the White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader at the Stadium.
Judge’s solo blast off reliever Kendall Graveman, his league-leading 15th of the season, knotted the score, but A.J. Pollock greeted Chapman with a leadoff homer to left in the ninth as the league-leading Yankees slipped to 29-11 at the 40-game mark.
It was the fifth consecutive game since May 11 in which Chapman has allowed at least one earned run — following a 12-appearance scoreless string — and the second in which he’s suffered a loss.
Chapman was checked out by a trainer after issuing a walk to pinch-hitter Andrew Vaughn. The Cuban lefty remained in the game and coughed up an RBI double to Adam Engel for a 3-1 score before Boone pulled him to heavy boos from the twin-bill crowd.
The dugouts had cleared the previous day, shortly after Donaldson had referred to Anderson as “Jackie,” infuriating the White Sox shortstop. Donaldson said after the game that he was making a joke about Anderson dubbing himself “today’s Jackie Robinson” in a 2019 Sports Illustrated story, but Anderson took offense to the jab and Chicago manager Tony La Russa called it a “racist” comment.
With MLB investigating the incident, Donaldson was in the Yankees’ starting lineup and went 0-for-4. Anderson was rested for the opener with the expectation he would start in the nightcap, La Russa said.
Jameson Taillon posted his longest start among eight this season in Game 1, allowing just one earned run on five hits over seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.
The White Sox didn’t register their first hit against Taillon until Yoan Moncada bunted against the shift past third base and legged out a double in the third.
Taillon fanned Leury Garcia with two runners in scoring position to escape the inning, but the White Sox strung together three consecutive singles one inning later — including an RBI knock to right by Yasmani Grandal — for a 1-0 lead.
Veteran righty Johnny Cueto kept the Yankees off balance and scattered four hits through six shutout frames. Aaron Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa rapped consecutive singles to chase Cueto in the seventh, but reliever Joe Kelly worked out of the jam with an assist from some shoddy base running by Hicks.
Kelly slung an 0-2 fastball past Marwin Gonzalez for the first out, and he picked off a leaning Hicks at second before also striking out Jose Trevino to maintain the one-run cushion. Kiner-Falefa also had been picked off first base by Cueto in the second.
Judge clobbered Graveman’s 0-2 two-seam fastball into the second deck with one down in the eighth for a 1-1 game, but the Yanks stranded runners on the corners on Hicks’ pop-up to end the inning ahead of Chapman’s latest concerning outing in the ninth.
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