The right-hander tries for his sixth straight victory while looking to help the first-place Yankees avoid a third consecutive loss as they continue a four-game set with the Chicago White Sox on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Though he didn’t factor in the decision, Burnett (10-4, 3.53 ERA) threw six solid innings in a 5-3 win over Detroit on July 17 to help New York snap a three-game losing streak. He’ll hope for another strong effort with the Yankees (62-41) having dropped the first two games of this series, including a 10-5 defeat on Friday.
New York is 11-4 since that three-game losing skid, but has lost two of three and had its lead in the AL East over Boston cut to 1 1/2 games.
“It’s frustrating,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose team is 2-3 on a nine-game road trip.
Burnett, who has won at least 10 games in five straight seasons and hasn’t lost since June 20, is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA over his last eight starts.
In his last outing, Burnett allowed one run and two hits in seven innings of an 11-4 victory at Tampa Bay on Monday.
“He’s one of those guys that you hate facing, but you love him on your team,” Nick Swisher(notes) told the Yankees’ official Web site of Burnett. “Everybody sees how he goes about his business. He’s just completely focused.”
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in five starts versus the White Sox (53-51), who’ve bounced back after a 1-6 road trip against AL Central rivals Detroit and Minnesota.
A.J. Pierzynski(notes) had four hits and Carlos Quentin(notes) homered with two RBIs for Chicago, which hours earlier acquired 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy(notes) from San Diego in exchange for four pitchers - including Friday’s originally scheduled starter Clayton Richard(notes).
“We want to be as strong as we possibly can in September. That’s what we’re focused on,” said White Sox general manager Kenny Williams of acquiring Peavy, who’s on the disabled list with a ankle injury, but could pitch in late August if the White Sox are still in playoff contention.
Though Quentin is batting .190 (8 for 42) since coming off the DL (foot) on July 20, he’s homered twice in his last three games.
Pierzynski, batting .311 this season, is 5 for 9 in this series, but is 1 for 14 against Burnett.
Chicago’s John Danks(notes) (8-7, 3.89) looks to bounce back after allowing four runs - two earned - and six hits in seven innings of a 4-3 loss at Minnesota on Monday for his first defeat in five outings.
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA against the Yankees, but hasn’t faced them since 2007.
Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes), who was acquired by New York from Cincinnati on Friday for a minor leaguer, could be in the lineup in this contest. The versatile veteran is batting .254 with eight homers and 27 RBIs, having played shortstop, second base, third base and all three outfield positions this season.
“Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do it,” Hairston said. “I can play anywhere.”