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.