With a slim lead in the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox hope their bullpen’s recent struggles will straighten out quickly.
On Tuesday night, the White Sox continue a four-game series with the New York Yankees, who seek their fourth straight victory.
Chicago (83-66) failed to win its third in a row Monday, losing 4-2 to the Yankees (80-70) after sweeping a doubleheader against Detroit on Sunday.
Although the White Sox won twice on Sunday, the bullpen allowed nine runs over a combined 4 1-3 innings. On Monday, Ehren Wassermann and Horacio Ramirez each gave up a run after a solid start by Mark Buehrle.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he’s concerned about the team’s bullpen, which is 2-2 with a 6.44 ERA in 13 games this month and 1-1 with a 10.70 ERA in the last seven games.
“The bullpen needs to get better,” Guillen said. “We need to add people to the bullpen, but it is shrinking. I need to do my job and put the best guy out there.
“I lost my touch the last few weeks. If I got paid every time that I went to the mound, I wouldn’t need a salary.”
Chicago, which has lost seven of its last 10 at Yankee Stadium, remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the Central. The Twins lost 3-1 at Cleveland on Monday.
“You really want to concentrate on your games, but you can’t help but look up at the scoreboard and hope they’re losing,” Buehrle said.
Mariano Rivera recorded his 36th save in 37 chances this season and the 479th of his career, passing Lee Smith for second place on the all-time list. San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman holds the saves record with 552.
“It’s not about myself. It’s just about winning,” Rivera said.
Derek Jeter went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, remaining tied with Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium (1,269). Cameras flashed all around the ballpark before virtually every pitch to Jeter.
“I don’t know how you hit with that. There’s just so many,” New York manager Joe Girardi said.
The White Sox try to bounce back when they send Gavin Floyd (15-7, 3.77 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday.
Floyd lost Thursday to Toronto, allowing four runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss. He had won his previous five decisions since his last loss on July 19.
The right-hander doesn’t have a decision in one start and one relief appearance against the Yankees, posting a 10.00 ERA over those outings. On April 24 he started against them in Chicago and allowed five runs and five hits in six innings of a 7-6 win.
Andy Pettitte (13-13, 4.52) counters for New York.
Pettitte is 0-4 with a 7.15 ERA in his last four starts, and the Yankees are 1-8 in his last nine outings. He pitched 4 2-3 innings last Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing four runs - three earned - and nine hits.
The left-hander is 11-8 with a 4.41 ERA in 21 starts against the White Sox. He is 8-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 10 starts against them at Yankee Stadium.
The White Sox hope to have first baseman Paul Konerko back in the lineup on Tuesday. Konerko, who sprained his right knee last Tuesday against Toronto, is 9-for-27 with a home run against Pettitte.