The New York Yankees had two notable winning streaks end in the opener of their four-game home set against the Chicago White Sox, and getting back on track may not be easy with an unproven starter on the mound.
Hampered by an injury-plagued rotation, the Yankees will give Adam Warren the ball for his major league debut when they continue their series with the White Sox on Friday night.
New York (46-29) saw its winning streaks of five straight overall and six in a row over Chicago (41-35) end with Thursday's 4-3 defeat. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning off David Robertson, with regular Yankees closer Rafael Soriano unable to pitch after earning saves four of the previous five days.
With CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the disabled list, New York is being forced to use Warren to take the place of Sabathia. Warren will become the first Yankees pitcher to make his major league debut as a starter since Ian Kennedy on Sept. 1, 2007.
The 24-year-old right-hander went 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 starts this year for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre, throwing five scoreless innings to earn Sunday's 4-0 victory over Indianapolis in his last start.
"It's hard to put into words how excited I am," Warren told the Yankees' official website. "It's been a dream of mine for so long. Just to be here and be in the clubhouse right now, it's pretty neat. I'm just trying to soak it up and have fun."
Manager Joe Girardi remembers how Warren, a 2009 fourth-round draft pick, shined in spring training when he threw four scoreless innings against Boston, which used a lineup that featured Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and current White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.
"It did stick out in my mind," Girardi said. "It gave us a lot to think of when we were trying to decide who our 12th pitcher was."
New York could easily be on a six-game roll if not for a poor ninth inning. Clay Rapada started the inning and threw wildly on a potential double-play ball after Alex Rios led off with a single, setting the stage for Robertson to enter and surrender Viciedo's shot.
"It's a tough way to lose a game, but it's a physical error and it's going to happen and you've just got to put it behind you," Girardi said.
Alejandro De Aza homered and matched a career high with four hits for the White Sox. Two of his three career four-hit efforts have come against New York.
Chicago improved to 22-14 on the road with its third straight win and sixth in eight games overall. White Sox starters have posted a 1.98 ERA in those eight contests.
Up next in the rotation for Chicago is rookie Jose Quintana (2-1, 1.25 ERA), who enters with a 16-inning scoreless streak as he gets ready to make his seventh start and first against New York. He also has faced 97 consecutive batters without issuing a walk.
Quintana has turned in back-to-back eight-inning outings in which he has failed to receive a decision, most recently Sunday's 1-0, 10-inning victory over Milwaukee.