NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano knows all about his struggles with runners in scoring position.
"You see the statistics up on the board," he said. "I want to get better."Cano did all right in the 10th inning Friday night, hitting a three-run homer with two outs to give the New York Yankees a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.
• Robinson Cano's walk-off home run was the Yankees' sixth this year. They had one all of last season.
• Jim Thome had his fourth career golden sombrero (four strikeouts in four plate appearances).
• Derek Jeter hit his 22nd career leadoff home run to move into second place in Yankees history (Rickey Henderson, 24).
• Friday's win was the Yankees' 12th walk-off win of the season (most since 13 in 1978).
-- ESPN Stats & Information
"I was looking for something right in the middle and thank God I came through in that situation," he said.Cano hit a 2-2 pitch from Randy Williams (0-1) into New York's bullpen in right-center, delighting what was left of a soggy crowd at Yankee Stadium. Williams retired the first two batters he faced before walking Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher on four pitches apiece to set up Cano's first game-ending homer."I was trying to feel for my pitches a little bit and that's not the situation where you want to have to do that," Williams said.Brian Bruney (4-0) worked a perfect 10th inning for the win. Cano was batting just .176 with two outs and runners in scoring position this season before his clutch hit."Robby hit a bullet," manager Joe Girardi said. "The wind wasn't going to hold that one up."Derek Jeter hit his second leadoff homer this week and Johnny Damon also connected for AL East-leading New York, which won the opener of the three-game set despite leaving nine runners on base.Mark Buehrle pitched six effective innings for the White Sox but remained winless in seven starts since his perfect game against Tampa Bay on July 23. The All-Star lefty is 0-4 with a 5.77 ERA over the lackluster stretch.Sliding Chicago has lost five of six to fall five games behind AL Central-leading Detroit, which beat Tampa Bay 6-2."There are still a lot of games left," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "You never know what's going to happen. But if we keep playing the way we've been playing, it's going to be a long month."The White Sox rallied in the seventh against CC Sabathia, who tied a season high with 10 strikeouts and was in line to become the first pitcher in the majors to reach 16 wins before faltering in his last inning. Alex Rios doubled in a run and Gordon Beckham lined a two-out RBI single into right to tie it at 2.Ramon Castro tried to score on Beckham's hit but Swisher cut him down at the plate for the final out. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez also made two nice plays in the inning, throwing Carlos Quentin out at home on Castro's grounder and diving to his right to keep Jayson Nix's hit in the infield."Swish makes a great throw to keep it 2-2 or we don't win," Girardi said. "Our defense was very good tonight, on a night it wasn't so easy to play good defense. It was raining and the wind was blowing."Sabathia received a no-decision after winning his previous 11 August starts. The big left-hander still finished up this month with a 5-0 record and a 2.64 ERA."Swish came up huge," Sabathia said. "The guys definitely bailed me out today."Jeter hit a 1-2 pitch from Buehrle over the wall in left-center for his 22nd career leadoff homer and first since Sunday's 8-4 win at Boston. It was his 17th homer this season and career No. 223, passing Don Mattingly for 10th on the club's list.Damon started the third with his 23rd homer, roping an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall. He finished with two hits and is batting .440 (11-for-25) in his last seven games.Buehrle has allowed eight homers in his last six starts. He is 1-6 with a 6.43 ERA in 10 career starts against the Yankees."I just got in trouble in the first couple innings," Buehrle said. "I don't think I fooled anybody that first inning, the way they were hitting the ball. Tried to go deep in the game, as deep as I could."
Guillen said former Yankees RHP Jose Contreras will start Saturday's game. ... Yankees C Jorge Posada (bruised left ring finger) was out of the lineup but Girardi said he was feeling better and could be available off the bench. Posada hasn't played since he took a foul ball off his glove hand during a 9-2 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. ... Nix finished with a career-high three hits. ... Tennis star and defending U.S. Open singles champion Serena Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch, working from the rubber and tossing the ball way over the head of catcher Jose Molina. The U.S. Open starts Monday.