Tony La Russa after White Sox’ loss to Yankees: ‘We got torched’

Umpire Chris Guccione separates Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson in the first inning Friday night.

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Tim Anderson didn’t like getting shoved off third base by Josh Donaldson on a late pickoff attempt in the first inning Friday night.

Anderson retaliated by pushing Donaldson, but tempers cooled as umpire Chris Guccione stepped between the two players as benches and bullpens emptied.

Unfortunately for the Sox, that’s as close as they got to matching the power of the Yankees, who relied on home runs by Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Josh Donaldson to coast to a 10-4 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Yankees have hit eight homers in the first two games of this four-game series, further fueling their dominance as they have won nine of their last 10 games against the Sox dating to June 15, 2019.

“We got torched,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “It was almost always missed our location. You would see the catcher setting up the pitcher in a different place, and missing. That’s what a hitter is supposed to do. They punish it, and they did.”

The Yankees scored five times in the first two innings against Velasquez, who allowed three home runs but managed to last five innings – one night after the bullpen threw five innings in a 15-7 loss.

The Anderson-Donaldson squabble occurred after Gavin Sheets struck out for the second out. Catcher Jose Trevino threw to third to try to nail a diving Anderson, who was upset that Donaldson tagged him aggressively on the right side. 

Sheets hit a two-run homer off Gerrit Cole, who struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings.

Anxious Andrew

Andrew Vaughn was activated after completing a two-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, but the Sox’s slugger won’t return to the lineup until likely Saturday when the Yankees start left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

Vaughn hit two home runs Thursday night but admitted he was concerned until he received a cortisone shot Monday and the swelling subsided and helped his range of motion in his right hand.

“It’s a bone bruise,” said Vaughn, who was hit by a pitch on April 29. “I’m going to feel it for a while. It’s going to be sore, but I just got to play through it.”

Vaughn took the roster spot of pitcher Lucas Giolito, who was placed on the COVID list.

Match game

La Russa said the roles for Kendall Graveman and Matt Foster didn’t match once the Yankees took the lead for good against Joe Kelly in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 15-7 loss.

“And it doesn’t mean you disrespect the guys who pitch,” La Russa said. “It just means they have to elevate themselves in that role, like what Foster has done.”

Once Kelly pitched, La Russa said he didn’t intend to use Graveman “unless we had to,” planning to employ closer Liam Hendriks for the ninth had the game remained tied.

That would have left Foster available if the game went into extra innings, but La Russa is mindful of the long season and not taxing his bullpen.

“You use up the bullpen, and you got no chance late in the game which is where most games are decided,” said La Russa, alluding to the Sox’s current stretch of 12 games in 11 days.”

Foster allowed a homer to Donaldson in the ninth Friday.

Grandal’s grind

Yasmani Grandal is in a 1-for-11 rut with five strikeouts, but La Russa said he gave his switch-hitter a rest Friday after catching in Thursday’s heat.

“I actually think if you look at the contact he’s making over the last bunch of games, you can see his bat is coming,” La Russa said.

Grandal struck out four times in Monday’s 12-9 loss to the Guardians but has struck out only once in his last eight plate appearances. 

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