Yankees enjoy easy Labor Day win over White Sox

Yankees enjoy easy Labor Day win over White Sox

NEW YORK -- With just 25 games remaining in the regular season and the playoff race heating up, it's often hard to find time to relax.

The Yankees enjoyed an easy contest Monday, though. New York sent 13 hitters to the plate, put 11 runners on base and scored eight runs in a 32-minute bottom of the fourth inning, giving the Yanks an opportunity to coast through the final five innings and secure a 9-1 rout over a White Sox team that swept them a month ago.

"This time of year, you want to get some games like this," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You can not use some guys in the bullpen, get some guys out a little early and maybe give them a little bit of rest. You just want to keep tacking on runs, and that's what they did in that big inning."

Alex Rodriguez doubled, Vernon Wells singled, Curtis Granderson walked, Mark Reynolds and Austin Romine singled, Brett Gardner doubled and Derek Jeter singled to give the Yankees five runs before the White Sox even recorded an out.

The Yankees only recorded one hit over the rest of the inning, but a walk and two White Sox errors -- catcher Josh Phegley dropped a foul ball that bounced off his glove and first baseman Adam Dunn threw a potential double-play ball into the outfield -- allowed them to put three more runs on the board before Reynolds made the final out of the inning.

"It was just one of those innings, and you don't see it happen too often. It's very difficult to do," said Jeter, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. "We were fortunate that we got some bounces that went our way, but for the most part, we had some good at-bats up and down the lineup."

Phil Hughes started the game for the Yankees, but had his start shortened by a one-hour and 53-minute rain delay that began in the top of the second inning. The right-hander threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.

"He had good stuff today, and I was actually excited. I firmly thought this would be where we turned it around, and he was cruising," Romine said. "And then the rain came. And that's just how it's going for him. He was really good."

Long man David Huff came in after the delay, giving up one run on five hits over 5 2/3 strong innings for the win. The only blemish on Huff's line was a solo home run by White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko in the seventh inning.

"Attacking them," Huff said when asked what he was doing on the mound. "Attacking them with fastballs and changeups, throwing a lot of strikes and just trying to get that first-pitch strike and get them in a hole."

"He did a really nice job," Girardi said. "He's pitched well for us. Those were big innings for us where we didn't have to use like four or five guys in the bullpen, and that helps."

Chicago long reliever Dylan Axelrod was responsible for most of the damage in the fourth inning, giving up eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks over 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Jose Quintana, who did not pitch following the rain delay.

"We weren't helping him at all," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You've got to be able to catch the ball. It's the Major Leagues. You have to be able to catch the ball and play good defense, otherwise you're not going to win games."

The eight-run lead late in the game allowed the Yankees to give some September callups their first taste of the Major Leagues. Cesar Cabral threw a scoreless eighth inning and recorded his first strikeout, and catcher J.R. Murphy pinch-hit for Robinson Cano in the bottom of the eighth inning and recorded his first Major League hit.

It was all made possible by the Yankees' fourth inning, which marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2012, against the Red Sox, that they scored that many runs in a single frame.

"It's been a long day. We had the long rain delay, and I think it helps the guys to be able to get that big inning," Girardi said. "It helps them relax, and it doesn't put so much pressure on them."

Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.