Judge, Higashioka homer as Yankees pound White Sox 7-1

CHICAGO (AP) — The New York Yankees need Clarke Schmidt to pitch well to rally into a playoff spot, just as he’s been doing the past few months.

He came through once again. And the Yankees picked up a sorely needed win.

Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka homered, helping Schmidt and New York beat the Chicago White Sox 7-1 on Tuesday night.

Clarke Schmidt (8-6) pitched neatly into the sixth inning and combined with two relievers for 13 strikeouts, helping the contending Yankees (59-55) come away with the win after losing three of four.

“That’s the biggest thing is being able to be consistent down the stretch,” Schmidt said.

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Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a two-run double and scored during New York’s four-run fourth against Touki Toussaint (1-5), and the Yankees scored three more in the eighth behind the long balls by Higashioka and Judge off Tanner Banks.

Higashioka, batting for Ben Rortvedt, hit a two-run drive for his first career pinch-hit homer and the first by a Yankee this season. Judge made it 7-1 with his 21st homer.

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SHUTTING THEM DOWN.

Schmidt gave up one run and four hits over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.

It was Schmidt’s 14th straight start allowing three runs or less. He has emerged as one of New York’s most reliable starters behind Gerrit Cole.

“It’s been two, three months now of really consistently good starts,” manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s been fun watching him. He’s super competitive.”.

Michael King tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing two hits and striking out five without a walk. Jonathan Loáisiga worked the ninth after being sidelined since April 5 because of a bone spur in his elbow.

“Kinger’s had a good year, but that might be as good as he’s looked all year,” Boone said. “That was dominant Kinger right there.”.

WHITE SOX STRUGGLE.

Toussaint struck out nine in five innings. He allowed six hits and walked five.

Chicago’s Luis Robert Jr. Led off the fourth with his 31st home run. But that was pretty much all the White Sox got at the plate in coming up short after winning three in a row.

“We’re just not consistent,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “There are games we come out and we control the strike zone, we might do it for a couple of days and then there are games we chase, chase a lot. They threw some guys at us with good stuff, but it seems like every night we’re seeing good stuff. It’s our responsibility, our job to make adjustments and continue to improve and control the strike zone.”.

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New York took control in the fourth while sending 10 batters to the plate.

Kiner-Falefa followed back-to-back singles by Giancarlo Stanton and Billy McKinney with a two-run double. He scored on Harrison Bader’s single past a diving first baseman Andrew Vaughn.

Jake Bauers added a sacrifice fly to the center-field warning track with the bases loaded, making it 4-0.

TRANSACTION.

The White Sox reinstated right-hander Gregory Santos from the bereavement list and optioned righty Edgar Navarro to Triple-A Charlotte.

TRAINER’S ROOM.

White Sox: Grifol opted to hold SS Tim Anderson (bruised left forearm) out of the lineup after initialing penciling him in. The two-time All-Star exited Monday’s game after being hit by a pitch. Anderson is also appealing a six-game suspension by Major League Baseball for fighting Cleveland slugger José Ramírez on Saturday.

UP NEXT.

RHP Luis Severino (2-6, 7.74 ERA) was set to start Wednesday, though Boone left open the possibility of someone else taking the mound. He said the Yankees were “considering everything,” including a bullpen game. RHP Mike Clevinger (4-5, 3.72 ERA) pitches for Chicago. ___.

AP MLB: https://apnews.Com/hub/MLB.