Wright (5-5, 4.23 ERA) outpitched Tampa Bay’s Jae Seo on July 7th, scattering four singles and striking out a season-high 10 in six innings of a 1-0 victory. The outing matched Wright’s longest of the season and marked the fourth time in his last nine starts he allowed one run or fewer.
“After the first two batters got base hits, he just completely shut things down,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Wright. “I can’t tell you what a great effort that was from him.”
The right-hander attributed the strong effort to a change in the grip of his slider that helped keep the ball low.
“I was throwing the one I’ve been working on. It was always up, always getting hit,” Wright said. “I just figured, I’ll try to change something to get through it. I went back to the old one and it worked out pretty well.”
Wright is 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven starts at home this season, but also has received little support when pitching there. New York has scored just 13 runs while Wright has pitched at Yankee Stadium, and all of those runs have come in three appearances.
He is 1-0 with a 4.19 ERA in three starts against the White Sox, whom he has not faced since Sept. 13, 1998 while pitching for the Cleveland Indians.
White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome, who hit his 31st homer in Saturday’s loss, is 2-for-12 (.167) with one homer and five strikeouts lifetime against Wright.
The Yankees (52-36) are on the verge of their first three-game sweep of the White Sox (57-33) at Yankee Stadium since Oct. 1-3, 2001. New York recorded a 14-3 rout Saturday as Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams each had two doubles and three RBIs to pace a 14-hit effort.
“It was a pretty good day for us,” said Jeter, who is 11-for-28 with eight RBIs and six runs in his last seven games. “We’ve been playing pretty good for a few weeks.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was disappointed in both starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and his team’s defense as the Yankees built an 8-0 lead in the first four innings.
“They beat us yesterday. We beat ourselves today,” Guillen said. “Buehrle’s out there pitching, and we’re not helping. It’s all about pitching and defense. Our defense let him down.”
The Yankees, who are 6-0-1 in their last seven series and a season-high 16 games above .500, are looking for their first home sweep since starting the season with three victories over the Kansas City Royals from April 11-13.
Chicago starter Freddy Garcia (10-5, 4.91) struggled in his final two outings before the All-Star break, giving up 11 runs and 18 hits in 11 innings. The right-hander did not get a decision July 8 against the Boston Red Sox, who tagged him for five runs and eight hits in five innings before rallying for a 9-6 win.
Garcia has a 5-2 road record this season but also has a 5.28 ERA in seven starts away from U.S. Cellular Field. He has allowed at least one home run and three runs in all seven of those starts.
Garcia is 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA in seven lifetime starts against the Yankees, but is 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA in four starts at Yankee Stadium.