Surging White Sox relish in spoiler role vs. Yankees

NEW YORK — Believe it or not, this is a significant week for the Chicago White Sox.

This week is not a chance for Chicago to improve its playoff chances but to potentially impact things in the AL East race.

The White Sox are on their best stretch of the season and hope to continue it Tuesday night when they visit the New York Yankees in the second game of a three-game series.

Chicago began a stretch of six straight games against the Yankees and Boston Red Sox by getting 11 hits in a 6-2 win on Monday.

Although the White Sox (52-79) are three losses away from clinching their sixth straight losing season, they are producing their best performances of the season. Chicago is 10-3 since Aug. 14 and 10-2 in its last 12 road games since Aug. 3.

“This month has been refreshing for us, the way we’ve been playing,” Chicago left-hander Carlos Rodon said after winning his fifth straight decision by pitching seven innings of two-hit ball. “It’s something to look forward to and just try to carry it out the rest of the season and transition that into spring training and into next season.”

Among the reasons for Chicago’s 15-10 mark in August and improved play are the performances of Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada amongst others.

Anderson went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles Monday and is hitting .333 (16-for-48) in his last 12 games. Moncada had a two-run double and has driven in a run in a career-high four straight games.

“I think that they trust what they’re doing out there right now,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re having a lot of confidence playing the game. I think they’re trusting their instincts and taking extra bases, any little thing that they can do, but compile that with the reality that they’re playing just solid baseball right now, thankfully, and hopefully, it continues.”

Chicago is 11-12 vs. the AL East this season, including a 6-3 mark on the road. It also took two of three in Boston in June.

Meanwhile, the Yankees will be monitoring how the Red Sox fare against the Miami Marlins at Fenway while trying to rebound from a sluggish showing following a long four-game series in Baltimore.

The Yankees (83-48) are 6 1/2 games back of the Red Sox and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. They committed three errors and produced three hits or less for the fifth time this season.

One was a 444-foot homer from rookie Glebyer Torres, who became the sixth Yankee to get 20 homers. None were from Giancarlo Stanton, who remains stuck on 299 career homers and has four hits in his last 28 at-bats.

“I think just coming off a road trip where you day-night doubleheaders and you’re getting in the middle of the night and a few days of not being able to be out on the field,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Unfortunately, that rears its head a little bit, but you got to be able to fight through that.

“You understand that’s part of it and you try and build in rest as much as you can for guys. But I thought there was some sluggishness from guys tonight, but we got to get past that and get after it tomorrow.”

After Masahiro Tanaka allowed four runs on 10 hits in seven innings, the Yankees will turn to Lance Lynn, who makes his fifth start since joining New York in a trade from Minnesota on July 30.

So far, he is 1-1 with a 3.81 ERA but coming off his worst outing with the Yankees. Lynn last pitched in Wednesday’s 9-3 loss at Miami when he was tagged for five runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Lynn is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox. He made his first start with the Yankees Aug. 6 in Chicago, when he allowed two hits, struck out nine and retired 19 in a row while pitching 7 1/3 innings.

Chicago’s James Shields is tied with Baltimore’s Alex Cobb for the most losses in baseball and hopes to end a dubious losing streak.

Since winning Chicago’s season-opener in Kansas City, he is 0-8 with a 6.13 ERA in his last 11 road appearances (10 starts). The streak continued Thursday in Detroit when he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-2 loss.

Overall Shields is 1-5 with a 5.04 ERA in his last seven starts.

Shields is 12-16 with a 4.08 ERA in 33 career starts against the Yankees. He last pitched in New York on Sept. 5, 2014, when he allowed three hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings for the Kansas City Royals.