White Sox 5, Yankees 3
CHICAGO (AP)—Rookie John Danks looked at the opposition and saw stars— All-Stars, that is.
The young left-hander never got rattled facing the New York Yankees. He worked out of a couple of tight jams and outpitched veteran Mike Mussina to send the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory Wednesday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
“It’s more important just to get a win. Obviously to beat a team like the Yankees that makes you feel a little better about yourself,” he said.
Danks (2-4) struck out a career-high seven in 6 1-3 innings. He gave up two runs and seven hits in winning his second straight start.
“I have great respect for those guys. Those guys have been doing it for a long time,” Danks said. “But I needed to be aggressive to them and make them hit my pitch. I ended up throwing a curveball to A-Rod that froze him a little bit. Cairo, same thing. A big situation in the game.”
Pierzynski, moved into the No. 3 slot in the batting order, homered to put the White Sox ahead 3-2. One out later, Jermaine Dye doubled, Rob Mackowiak was hit by a pitch and Joe Crede delivered an RBI single to finish Mussina (2-2).
Mussina had been scheduled to start Tuesday night before the game was postponed because of rain.
“When you’re off for a week sometimes you lose a feel on things,” Mussina said. “You lose that extra little finish on pitches. Today I didn’t have the stuff that I would have liked to have and it showed.”
Making his first start in a week, Mussina gave up eight hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings.
“Mike changes speeds so much and he throws so many different pitches, you just have to hope he makes a mistake and he did and I hit it out,” Pierzynski said.
Pierzynski is Chicago’s home run leader with seven, six weeks into the season.
Acquired in an offseason trade with Texas, Danks lost his first four decisions, but has pitched decently all season since winning the fifth starter’s job in spring training.
“He’s not afraid. He comes right after guys,” Pierzynski said. “You can see his confidence grow and you can see that he never gave up when he lost those first starts because he knew eventually we would score runs for him.”
Left-hander Matt Thornton came on to get the final four outs to record his first save in four chances.
Darin Erstad hit a two-out RBI single to score Iguchi, who doubled with one out in the fifth, to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Cabrera then robbed Juan Uribe of a two-run homer by leaping high at the left-field fence and pulling back his long drive.
In the top of the sixth, Cabrera hit a two-out, RBI double after Jorge Posada walked and Abreu singled, tying it at 2. Danks escaped a big inning by fanning Cairo.
Konerko was 0-for-11 and 10-for-60 before homering to right center off Mussina in the fourth.
Abreu, in a 1-for-20 skid, tied it with his second homer, leading off the fifth, a liner that just cleared the fence in left center.
Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter singled with two outs in the inning before Rodriguez fouled out to third. Rodriguez had just missed a homer an inning earlier when Ryan Sweeney tracked down his long fly at the left-field wall.
Mussina is 15-16 in his career against the White Sox—the most lifetime losses against the White Sox by any active pitcher.
Yankees RHP Phillip Hughes (on the DL with a strained left hamstring) is throwing off flat ground. Though he had felt some pain, manager Joe Torre said he expects the 20-year-old to be throwing off a mound soon. “A few days ago he felt it a little bit,” Torre said. “But he hasn’t in the last couple of days. They’ll get him up on a half-mound here shortly.” … White Sox DH Jim Thome was 0-for-4 in his first rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday night. Thome has a strained rib cage muscle.