The New York Yankees are finally starting to hit and the wins have started to follow.
The Yankees seek their fifth win in seven games Wednesday night as they continue a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
Although injuries and poor pitching have both played roles in the Yankees (25-31) struggling to stay out of last place in the AL East, an underwhelming offense has also been a contributing factor.
New York hit only .203 (34-for-167) and averaged 2.8 runs during a recent five-game losing streak, but has been much more productive in the past six contests, averaging 7.0 runs while batting .341 (75-for-220).
The Yankees made it four wins in that six-game span, rebounding from a 6-4 loss in Monday’s series opener by banging out a season-high 17 hits in a 7-3 victory Tuesday.
“Right now, I think we’re poised to do something special,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
“I don’t think our goal is to win 10 in a row,” Rodriguez said. “I think the goal is to win two out of three, three out of four. If we get fortunate enough to pull out seven, eight or nine in a row, that’s always a bonus.”
Robinson Cano continued his resurgence with two hits. He is 11-for-21 with five runs scored in his last six games, raising his average from .249 to .276.
Bobby Abreu also appears to be regaining his stroke, going 9-for-18 in his past five contests.
Rookie Tyler Clippard gave the Yankees five strong innings after New York starters compiled a 7.59 ERA in the previous five games.
Chien-Ming Wang (4-4, 4.19 ERA) will face the White Sox for the second time in less than a month. The right-hander limited Chicago to one run and six hits over seven innings on May 16 in an 8-1 win at U.S. Cellular Field.
Wang wasn’t particularly sharp Friday at Fenway Park, yielding three runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings, but still won for the third time in four starts. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last four outings.
He is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox.
Chicago (26-28), which has lost eight of 10, was held to three runs or fewer for the 24th time this season. A defeat in this contest would drop the White Sox a season-worst three games under .500.
Third baseman Joe Crede - mired in a 3-for-26 slump - was held out of the starting lineup with tightness in his back. Manager Ozzie Guillen said a trip to the disabled list is possible.
“I’d rather lose him for 15 days than lose him for three, four or five months,” Guillen said. “I talked to him and I told him, ‘You have to think about your life after the game.’”
Javier Vazquez (3-3, 3.95) opposes his former team for the second time in a White Sox uniform. Vazquez, who went 14-10 and was an All-Star for the Yankees in 2004, gave up two runs, six hits and six walks over five innings in a 5-4 victory over New York on Aug. 10. He is 1-2 with a 5.00 ERA in three career starts versus the Yankees.
Vazquez ended a seven-start winless streak with his best performance of the season Friday in a 3-0 win at Toronto. He scattered six hits over eight innings, walked two and struck out five in his first victory since April 13.