The New York Yankees are still struggling offensively, but now they get a look at a pitcher who has been among baseball’s worst.
The problem is that Chicago White Sox starter John Danks has already stymied New York this year.
Danks has had issues facing Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury in the past as he gets the ball Friday night opposite impressive Yankees rookie Shane Greene.
New York (64-61) avoided a three-game sweep by Houston with Thursday’s 3-0 victory. The Yankees, averaging 2.3 runs since Aug. 9 for the worst mark in baseball over a 3-7 stretch, got all of their runs in the second inning with Chase Headley providing a two-run double.
"We talked about it before the game that we needed to come with a little bit more energy and hopefully some emotion and play the way we’re capable of playing," Headley said. "We understand that we’re a lot better offensively than we’ve shown."
Chicago (59-68) comes to town in the second half of this homestand, with Danks (9-8, 4.94 ERA) beginning this three-game series. The veteran left-hander has the worst ERA in the league and his 84 earned runs allowed matches Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the most in the AL.
In addition, Danks has surrendered 23 homers to match the Tigers’ David Price for the AL’s worst total, although he has gone consecutive outings without yielding one.
The only start this year in which he did not allow a run was against the Yankees on May 24 as he pitched eight innings of three-hit ball in a 4-3, 10-inning defeat.
Teixeira and Ellsbury combined to go 1 for 6 in that game after entering a combined 13 for 23 against Danks.
Danks is 2-3 with a 5.67 ERA in seven starts against New York. This is his second at the current Yankee Stadium.
Chicago has never faced Greene (3-1, 2.91), who allowed two runs and struck out a season-high 10 in six-plus innings while not receiving a decision in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Tampa Bay.
The Yankees are 5-2 in starts by the right-hander, who last pitched at home Aug. 7 when he yielded five hits in eight innings in a 1-0 victory over Detroit.
He’ll face a team clearly in rebuilding mode after the White Sox dealt second baseman Gordon Beckham to the Angels on Thursday for a player to be named or cash.
The White Sox batted .132 with 27 strikeouts while being outscored 17-6 in a three-game home sweep by AL East-leading Baltimore, capped by Wednesday’s 4-3 loss. Manager Robin Ventura said that he remains pleased with the energy of his club, which is an AL-worst 5-12 since Aug. 2.
"Effort-wise, they’re getting after it," Ventura said. "The results may not be there right now but effort-wise guys are doing what they’re supposed to be doing right now."
The Yankees will finally see Jose Abreu, who was out with an ankle injury when these teams split four games in Chicago in May. Abreu is tied for second in the majors with 32 homers to go along with 90 RBIs.
The White Sox have dropped five straight in the Bronx.