Yankees-White Sox Preview


The New York Yankees are still searching for their first win since Alex Rodriguez's return.

It's been a month since they managed to get one with CC Sabathia on the mound.

Sabathia attempts to begin shaking out of his worst stretch with the Yankees and help them avoid being swept in this three-game set with the last-place Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

New York (57-55) has lost both games since Rodriguez made his season debut hours after being hit with a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug agreement and labor contract. The Players Association has formally appealed his suspension, and Rodriguez is allowed to keep playing until his grievance is heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who isn't expected to rule until November or December at the earliest.

The three-time AL MVP has managed a hit in each his two contests, and he reached base three times in Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Chicago. He continued to be booed by the fans at U.S. Cellular Field, except for when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning - which drew a large roar from the crowd.

"There's something wrong with that," manager Joe Girardi said.

The same could be said of Sabathia (9-10, 4.78 ERA), who is one defeat short of matching his career high set in 2002 and matched in 2006 with Cleveland.

The left-hander hasn't made it through six innings in his last four starts, going 0-3 with a 10.07 ERA. Opponents are hitting .398 against him in that span, which most recently featured Sabathia allowing a season high-tying 11 hits and five runs in Friday's 7-2 loss at San Diego.

"I feel like it's going to turn,'' he said. "It just hasn't yet. It's baseball. It has to. And I want it to.''

The Yankees are 10 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston and six out of the second wild-card spot, and Sabathia is aware of his importance to the race.

"I'm not saying that I'm better than anybody else, but I feel like I need to be strong," he said. "We're battling, and I'm not helping us. I've expressed that. We've been through a lot this year. And me not being able to help is killing us."

Perhaps a meeting with the White Sox (42-69) can help him turn the corner. He's 10-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 16 career meetings on the South Side, though the most recent came in August 2011.

Chicago, though, finally is showing some signs of life at the plate with 11 runs and 24 hits in this series. The team hit .213 and totaled 18 runs during its 10-game skid prior to the Yankees' arrival.

Gordon Beckham has four hits in this series, giving him a .382 career average in 15 home meetings with New York. He's also 7 for 17 versus Sabathia.

Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.28) would certainly love some help from the offense since he's been backed by a total of seven runs over his last six starts. He's 0-2 in that stretch despite a 2.75 ERA, going at least six innings in five of those outings.

The offense let the left-hander down again Friday, when he yielded two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 2-1 loss at Detroit.

"That was one of Hector's best games all year," manager Robin Ventura said. "He usually has an inning or two in the middle where he gets out of sync, walks a few guys and gives up some runs. That didn't happen, and that's an important step forward for him."

Santiago has given up four runs and two homers in four innings over two relief outings versus the Yankees.

He struck out Rodriguez in their only meeting.

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