He looks to build on his first with his new team when the Yankees continue a three-game series with the suddenly slumping Chicago White Sox.
Acquired from Colorado for two minor league pitchers on July 28, Chacon has provided a big boost to New York’s injury-plagued rotation, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in five appearances, including four starts.
Chacon’s lone loss with New York came on Aug. 9, when he suffered a tough 2-1 home defeat to the White Sox, surrendering a run and three hits over seven strong innings.
After pitching an inning of scoreless relief on Aug. 12 to aid a tired bullpen, Chacon finally got his first win as a Yankee two days later, when he threw five solid innings in a 10-3 victory over Texas. Ironically, it was the worst of his four starts with New York as he allowed three runs and seven hits.
“Actually, today was the perfect day for the offense to pick me up,” Chacon said. “I know I’ve been pitching well but I think today feels better because I didn’t really have great stuff. My command wasn’t as good as it’s been.
”(But) we’re in the middle of a race and the number one thing is winning the ball game. I just focus on doing my part. That’s keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win.”
The victory also ended a personal eight-game losing streak for Chacon that began when he was with Colorado. He had not won in his previous 12 starts dating to April 23.
Chacon is hoping to follow up a gritty performance by Mike Mussina in Friday’s series opener.
Mussina pitched seven strong innings, allowing five singles, as New York beat the slumping White Sox 3-1, sending the AL Central leaders to their season-high sixth straight loss.
“Two tough games down in Tampa and it was good to come out and win this game,” Mussina said after getting his team-high 12th victory.
New York failed to gain any ground in either the AL East or the wild-card race as the divison-leading Red Sox and Oakland Athletics both won Friday. The Yankees trail the Red Sox by four games and the A’s by 1 1/2 .
Chicago continues to struggle at home, where it has lost 14 of its last 20. Despite the skid, the White Sox lead the Central by 9 1/2 games over second-place Minnesota.
“You can’t worry about it,” losing pitcher Jon Garland said. “You worry about it and you get away from your game. … We need to get back to the little things, get back to getting guys on, bunting them over and stealing. We’ll be all right.”
The White Sox will send ex-Yankee Orlando Hernandez to the mound Saturday. El Duque, a part of the Yankees’ three straight World Series championship teams from 1998-2000, suffered a 3-2 loss to his former team on Aug. 8, allowing three runs and four hits in six innings.
The Cuban right-hander’s last start was washed out by rain in the fourth inning last Sunday against Boston after he allowed two runs and four hits.