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Updated: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 3:17 AM EDT
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CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The conditions and quality of play may have been sloppy, but to New York Yankees manager Joe Torre , it had to be a sight for sore eyes.

Miguel Cairo 's three-run double highlighted the biggest first inning for the defending American League champions in nearly a decade as the Yankees hung on for an 11-8 triumph over the Chicago White Sox .

After seeing his team lose three of four games in Boston and with an offense mired in a season-long funk, Torre could not have felt good about his chances against Chicago ace Mark Buehrle . Factor in Alex Graman making his major league debut for New York and there was reason for concern.

But New York pounced on Buehrle (1-1) as it sent 12 batters to the plate in the opening inning. After an error by Joe Crede allowed Derek Jeter to score, Jorge Posada had a two-run base hit and Ruben Sierra added an RBI single.

Cairo's double down the left field line made it 7-0.

The outburst was the Yankees' biggest of the season and their best opening-inning output since June 4, 1995 against the California Angels.

Chicago battled back and got within 8-7 and 9-8, but the New York offense kept pounding away. Posada capped a four-RBI night with a solo homer in the eighth off White Sox reliever Mike Jackson .

Every starter had a hit and scored a run as the Yankees pounded out 16 hits against Buehrle and five relievers.

Buehrle was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in two innings. He was struggling when the game was halted by rain for 71 minutes and did not return after the delay.

Graman came out after the delay and was hit hard, surrendering five runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings.

"He threw the ball well at times and he tried to come back after the delay but he couldn't get the ball down after that," Torre said.

"I wanted to come in and get ahead of guys but I wasn't able to do that and it hurt me a bit," Graman said. "The rain didn't really affect me a lot I've been through it before, it's not easy to pitch when its raining hard, but it wasn't the reason I struggled."

Paul Quantrill (2-0) allowed a run in two innings and was awarded the victory. Mariano Rivera cruised through the ninth and notched his fourth save.

Two rain delays totaled 83 minutes.

"It was really tough to play in these conditions," Posada said. "You have to overcome things and concentrate more and I think we got cold."

"To come back and battle the we did in these conditions really makes me proud of the team," Chicago manager Oziie Guillen said. "I walked off the field feeling like we won even though we lost."

Jeter opened the game by beating out an infield hit and Bernie Williams singled. Alex Rodriguez beat out a bunt and Jeter scored when third baseman Joe Crede fired errantly to first base. After Jason Giambi popped out, Gary Sheffield walked to load the bases.

Posada squeezed a single through the right side of the infield, plating Williams and Rodriguez. Hideki Matsui was hit by a pitch and Ruben Sierra singled off the glove of second baseman Willie Harris for a 4-0 lead. Cairo then delivered the hardest hit of the inning, a shot into the left field corner.

"It was strange they just kept getting little hits and more runs, but all you can do is just try to get out of hit and give your offense a chance to come back," Buehrle said.

© 2005 STATS, Inc
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