On a muggy Saturday afternoon in the Bronx, the Yankees and White Sox turned up the heat even more.
Josh Donaldson and Tim Anderson reignited their feud, which eventually resulted in the benches and bullpens being cleared as teams traded barbs and runs before the Yankees came out on top with a 7-5 win.
Even after the Yankees (29-10) took a 5-0 lead in the second inning, the game got tight, but they did enough to win the series opener against the White Sox (19-20).
Clay Holmes secured the defense by pitching the final 1 ¹/₃ innings. It was his second straight save on as many occasions for the Yankees, with Aroldis Chapman not serving since giving up a run in four straight games.
Tempers flared in the fifth inning. As Donaldson walked to the plate, catcher Yasmani Grandal appeared to say something to him, leading to an extended conversation between the two. Anderson, who had been chirping with Donaldson in the third inning and last weekend in Chicago, soon ran in from his post at shortstop before the benches and bullpens were cleared. The teams faced each other behind the plate, but the only action was Anderson being dragged away from the scene by his teammates.
The heightened tensions led to referees warning both shelters.
After Nestor Cortes went eight innings of one-run ball against the White Sox in Chicago last Sunday, they put him to work on Saturday. The left-hander needed 69 pitches to go through just three innings and ended up giving up three runs over five innings while striking out seven.
The Yankees jumped ahead in the second inning over left Dallas Kuechel. With runners in first and second place, Isiah Kiner-Falefa fielded a single-pass dive first baseman Andrew Vaughn for a 1-0 lead.
Then, with two outs, Kuechel ran number 9 hitter Aaron Hicks to load bases and DJ LeMahieu made him pay for it.
LeMahieu, who reached 10 years of major league service on Saturday, celebrated with a grand slam on the short right field porch to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead.
But the White Sox took the lead in the next half-inning when Cortes gave up consecutive one-out singles before Jose Abreu smashed a three-run home run into left field. It was the first time this season that Cortes has given up more than two runs in a game.
The Yankees put on another run in the third inning thanks to a leadoff walk by Anthony Rizzo. He advanced to third with a singles from Giancarlo Stanton and then came home to take a 6-3 lead as Donaldson smashed a doubles game.
With the final out of the inning, Donaldson rounded out second base but quickly stopped to talk to Anderson. A week away from a dust cloud between the two in Chicago, sparked by Donaldson seemingly about to shove Anderson off the pocket during a pickoff attempt, the two snapped jaws before eventually going their separate ways. But it set the stage for the bigger confrontation in the fifth inning.
Michael King relieved Cortes to start the sixth inning and gave up a trio of doubles, drawing the White Sox 6-5.
The Yankees ran back at the end of the inning and used a leadoff walk to Kyle Higashioka. Aaron Judge later defeated an infield single to load bases with an out for Rizzo, who lifted a sacrifice fly to take a 7-5 lead.
Jonathan Loaisiga allowed the first two batsmen to reach in the seventh inning but came back to bat out the next three to escape the jam.
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