Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - A.J. Pierzynski and Omar Vizquel both knocked in two runs to support a solid outing from Freddy Garcia, as the Chicago White Sox beat New York, 9-4, in the opener of a three-game series between playoff contenders at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago still finds itself 3 1/2 games back of first-place Minnesota in the American League Central standings after the Twins defeated Seattle on Friday.
New York starter A.J. Burnett (9-12) gave up nine runs -- eight earned -- on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Sergio Mitre allowed one hit over 4 2/3 innings in relief of the ineffective Burnett, who has lost his last four decisions.
Despite the loss, the Yankees remain tied with Tampa Bay atop the AL East after the Rays were beaten by Boston.
The game got off to a promising start for the Yankees. Brett Gardner led off with a high chopper back to the mound. Garcia fielded the ball and his wild throw allowed the speedy Gardner to take third. He then scored on a groundout by Derek Jeter.
Chicago, though, countered with a four-spot in the bottom of the first. Pierre led off with a ground-rule double and Vizquel drove him in with a single. A one-out single by Paul Konerko placed runners on the corners and Burnett allowed a single to Carlos Quentin that pushed home a run. Pierzynski then lined a two-run double.
Ramiro Pena came home on a single by Gardner in the third, but Chicago got the run back in the bottom half when Quentin scored on a wild pitch.
The White Sox blew the game open with four more runs in the fourth. Burnett was lifted in favor of Mitre after Vizquel and Alex Rios stroked back-to-back RBI singles. With Konerko at the plate, Rios swiped second and Francisco Cervelli's throwing error allowed Vizquel to score. Rios took third on the miscue and hustled home when Mitre uncorked a wild pitch.
Garcia picked up his first win since July 29...The White Sox were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position.