In the thick of a playoff race, the New York Yankees were determined to avoid the letdown they had in Chicago last month – when they were swept by the White Sox in a three-game series.
One big inning wiped out any worries.
Derek Jeter ended a slump with two hits and two RBIs, Alex Rodriguez reached base twice in an eight-run fourth inning, and the Yankees battered the White Sox 9-1 on Monday in a game interrupted for nearly 2 hours by rain.
A day after wasting a late lead in a loss to wild card-rival Baltimore, the Yankees rocked reliever Dylan Axelrod and took advantage of the sloppy White Sox for their most productive inning since Oct. 1.
With thunder clapping in the first inning, Jeter had a run-scoring single off Jose Quintana (7-5) to stop an 0-for-14 slide. It was the 3,313th hit of Jeter's career, tying him with Eddie Collins for ninth on the career list.
The Yankees' bats then made all the noise after a 1-hour, 53-minute delay, helping them end a six-game skid against Chicago.
Alfonso Soriano, Mark Reynolds, Austin Romine, Vernon Wells, Brett Gardner and Jeter all drove in runs during the fourth-inning barrage. The offensive display made it easy on David Huff (2-0), who entered for Phil Hughes with one out in the second when play resumed.
Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Henderson Alvarez hit his first career home run and pitched six innings before exiting with a hamstring injury, and the Marlins beat the Cubs in Chicago.
Alvarez hit a three-run shot off Travis Wood in the second inning, and also had a single and a sacrifice bunt.
Alvarez (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings before he left with a tight right hamstring in his first career appearance against the Cubs.
Steve Cishek earned his 29th save in 31 chances for the Marlins, who have won two straight after losing six in a row.
Wood (8-11) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings.
Reds 7, Cardinals 2: Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto homered as Cincinnati roughed up Adam Wainwright for the second start in a row, leading Mat Latos and the Reds over the Cardinals in the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati between the NL Central rivals.
Latos (14-5) gave up four hits in his first complete game of the year.
The Cardinals took two of three in St. Louis last week, the only loss coming when the Reds tagged Wainwright (15-9) for nine runs in a career-low two innings. They had his number again on Monday, piling up six runs and 10 hits in six innings.