CHICAGO -- Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira homered and Ivan Nova allowed one run over six innings as the Yankees defeated the White Sox, 12-3, on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. New York outscored the White Sox, 27-17, in the three-game series, taking two of three.
Ellsbury led off with a home run on the second pitch of the game before the Yankees blew the game open with a five-run fourth and a three-run fifth. Stephen Drew supplied four RBIs, while Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Ellsbury each added two RBIs. White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija threw fewer than five innings for the first time this season, giving up nine runs over 4 2/3.
"We've got a great group of guys here," Drew said. "The chemistry is good, and you put in Nova throwing the ball well for us today; everybody seems to be locked in hitting. It makes for a tough combination on the other side."
Nova allowed five hits and walked two. He tied a season high with seven strikeouts, allowing just two runners in scoring position. The White Sox added two runs in the seventh inning on home runs from Alexei Ramirez and Geovany Soto, who hit his 100th career blast.
"Once they got out in front, it was tough to get back," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "If you are not sharp and on top of it, you are going to pay for it. And we did."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Batting around: The Yankees sent nine men to the plate in the fourth, scoring five runs off Samardzija. Gregorius completed a hot road trip by delivering another big hit, knocking home two runs with a single, and Gardner also lined a two-run single. The big frame came after Ellsbury got the Yanks off to a quick start, slugging his 12th career leadoff homer and first of the season. Teixeira later homered, No. 29 of the season and his fifth in the last four games.
"That's what I tell everybody: it's a whole team," Gregorius said. "Sometimes the top wasn't doing anything, and then the bottom wasn't doing. But this whole road trip, it was top to bottom, everybody was doing the job, everybody was getting on base, everybody was scoring. So that's what we want; just keep it up." More >
Cabrera's contributions: In a game where not much went the White Sox way, Melky Cabrera continued to supply offense and defense. Cabrera hit an RBI single in the sixth inning, having tallied an RBI in 13 of his last 15 games. He has 26 hits in that span, 13 for extra bases. And Cabrera supplied his defense in the sixth on a diving catch in left field to prevent further damage.
Super Nova: Any concerns about Nova were calmed by his sharp effort against the White Sox, following an outing at Texas in which he was limited to just 75 pitches due to what the team called "arm fatigue." Making his seventh start since returning from Tommy John surgery, Chicago did not make Nova work exceptionally hard, as he rattled off six frames before handing the game over to the bullpen with a big lead.
"It was a really good team effort today," Nova said. "It's something you expect every time you go out there. You have to stay focused and keep pitching like it's a tied game. You can't tell yourself, 'I have a big lead, I'm going to relax.' You have to pitch as if it's a tied game." More >
Samardzija struggles: Following his best month of the season, Samardzija tied a season high with nine earned runs allowed. Samardzija put together a strong July as his name was discussed in trade rumors, but he couldn't piece everything together in his first start since Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. He had pitched at least seven innings in each start since June 7, but threw his shortest outing since August 2014 as he struggled to keep pitches down in the zone.
"Was putting too many guys on base for free," Samardzija said. "Especially against a lineup like that, you gotta get the outs and make them put it in play. ... I felt like I was in the stretch today pitching in tight spots all game instead of having a good rhythm and getting quick outs. They just made me battle."
"You can't keep it up for a long period of time. What's it been, three weeks to a month where they've been very, very solid, two, three, four-run games consistently, and that's given us a chance to win. As much as we'd love to have it for another week there's gonna be slips and falls every now and again." -- White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton, on his team's pitching struggling over the weekend More >
"I thought it was pretty good. You go three cities, you win two series and tie another series. Some late nights, some really long games, a lot of heat. I thought our guys did a really good job." -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on the team's 6-4 road trip against the Twins, Rangers and White Sox
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Following an off-day on Monday, the Yankees will open a three-game series in the Bronx against the Red Sox on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (7-4, 3.80 ERA) will make his 15th start of the season, looking to snap a two-start losing skid. Tanaka is 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA in four career starts vs. Boston.
White Sox:Jose Quintana takes the mound in search of his third straight win when the White Sox host the Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night. Quintana has thrown a quality start in five of his last six starts, allowing an average of two runs a game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.
Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.