Last Thursday, DeWayne Wise impressed his teammates by making a spectacular catch against the wall to help secure Mark Buehrle‘s perfect game. A week later, Wise did it from the plate to help beat the AL‘s best team.
After White Sox reliever Matt Thornton allowed a game-tying home run to Nick Swisher in the top of the ninth, Wise, who again entered as a defensive replacement, hit a game-ending RBI single in the bottom half to give the Chicago White Sox a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
“I can’t say enough about DeWayne and how he stepped in at the end of the game and came up big for us again,” White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham said. “Nobody wanted to go to extra innings because we were pretty down after that home run, obviously, he pulled us out again. That’s a tribute to him as a player.”
Swisher tied it in the top half with a solo shot to left after the Yankees fell behind 2-1 in the seventh thanks to some shoddy defense. With the Red Sox‘s victory, New York’s lead in the AL East dropped to 2 1/2 games.
After a miserable 1-6 road trip, the White Sox also got an RBI double by Beckham in the third inning as Chicago won for just the second time in eight games.
Jim Thome singled with one out in the ninth off Yankees reliever Phil Hughes (4-3), who had not given up a run in his last 16 appearances.
Paul Konerko followed with a single. Yankees reliever Phil Coke entered and retired A.J. Pierzynski. Wise then hit a liner to center that scored pinch-runner Scott Podsednik easily from second and ended Hughes’ scoreless streak at 25 1-3 innings.
“I was just looking for something I could handle and tried to stay up the middle. I got a cutter or a slider and I was able to stay back and hit a line drive over the middle,” Wise said.
Wise missed a month earlier in the season with a separated left shoulder and has struggled at times at the plate, but he has made a name for himself in the last week.
“That’s why one of the reasons why we have him there. We think this kid could play the role he’s been doing and everything has come out pretty nice for him,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declared Thursday Mark Buehrle day, in honor of his perfect game.
“I told Buehrle, today is Mark Buehrle day, hopefully we can keep that going for awhile,” Wise said.
After striking out the first two batters in the ninth inning, Thornton (5-2) gave up the homer to Swisher, the former White Sox switch-hitter to tie it at 2. Swisher was traded in the offseason to New York after he feuded with Guillen over playing time late last season.
“You have a guy like Matt Thornton, it feels like he’s throwing about 120. I was just trying to get the barrel on it somehow,” Swisher said. “Maybe I got lucky but I’ll take it.”
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, used a late-breaking curveball to get seven of his 10 strikeouts on called strike 3s. He only allowed one run on four hits and one walk in 7 2-3 innings.
“With a guy like Floyd nothing seemed like it was going straight,” Swisher said.
The Yankees wasted a strong effort by Andy Pettitte, who was hurt by two errors – one by the pitcher – in the seventh.
Thome hit a slow bouncer down the first basepath leading off and Pettitte slipped on the grass as he touched the ball in fair territory with his mitt. The ball rolled out of his reach allowing Thome make it to first on the error.
One out later, Pierzynski hit a hard grounder to third baseman Alex Rodriguez. The ball deflected off Rodriguez’s mitt as he was moving to his left. The play was originally scored as an error, but was changed minutes later to a hit.
With one out, Hughes relieved and got Carlos Quentin to hit a bouncer to third, a potential double-play ball. But Pierzynski barreled into second knocking second baseman Robinson Cano off-balance, resulting in an errant throw to first base. Thome scored for a 2-1 lead.
“He was right on top of me but I only got four fingers on the ball, that’s why I didn’t make a good throw, Cano said. “If I had a good grip on the ball, I might have hit him in the mouth.”
Pettitte allowed two runs – one earned – on five hits and did not allow a walk. He has only won once in his last seven starts.
NOTES: White Sox closer Bobby Jenks was not available because of kidney stones. … Despite very little rain, the start of game was delayed 64 minutes. Forecasts called for a storm, which never ensued. … White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Ramirez injured his ankle in Wednesday’s loss at Minnesota. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t expect Ramirez to play Friday and Saturday.