Yankees-White Sox Preview

The last thing the New York Yankees need is for the off-field

distraction from Alex Rodriguez’s return to hinder their play on

the diamond.

Riding a 14-inning scoreless stretch, Hiroki Kuroda looks to

help the visiting Yankees rebound from a rough performance in

Rodriguez’s season debut as they face Chris Sale and the Chicago

White Sox on Tuesday night.

Amidst a chorus of boos, Rodriguez went 1 for 4 with a bloop

single Monday, hours after he was suspended by Major League

Baseball through 2014 for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

However, Andy Pettitte allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 2 2-3

innings as New York (57-54) lost for the 12th time in 18 games, 8-1

at Chicago.

While the win snapped the White Sox’s 10-game losing streak, the

defeat ended a whirlwind day for the embattled Rodriguez, who will

continue his return from hip surgery while appealing his ban.

“We’re just getting started in this process,” Rodriquez said of

challenging the decision. “But for me, personally, I just want to

get back to baseball, playing hard and playing with a lot of

intensity. I just want to see what our team has to offer.

“My focus is: What can I do to help this team win?”

Manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees appear glad to have

Rodriguez back, but the attention drawn to his situation likely

won’t subside and could pose further distraction for a team

struggling to remain in playoff contention.

“He’s here, he’s going to play,” Girardi told the Yankees’

official website. “It really doesn’t change anything for us.”

Kuroda (10-6, 2.38 ERA) has allowed two runs over 33 innings

while going 3-0 in his last five starts. He’s not allowed a run in

four of those contests, including the last two.

The right-hander gave up five hits and struck out eight in seven

innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-0 win Wednesday

over Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he began his career.

“I’ve seen him do that for years,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw

said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the American League.”

Kuroda is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA against the White Sox (41-69). He

allowed three hits and struck out 11 in seven innings of a 4-0 win

over Chicago last season.

Sale (6-11, 2.92) looks to avoid losing four straight starts for

the second time this season after he allowed five runs and 10 hits

in five innings of a 6-1 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. The

left-hander, who has the lowest run-support average in the majors

at 2.47, is 1-9 with a 3.23 ERA in last 11 starts.

“I’m not going to sit here and make excuses,” Sale said. “I got

my butt kicked (Thursday). I didn’t feel as good as I usually do,

but I’m a professional and I have to find a way to fight through

it.”

He gave up a homer to Derek Jeter, two other hits and struck out

13 in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 home victory over the Yankees last

season.

Sale won’t have to face Jeter, who is back on the disabled list

with a strained calf.

Alexei Ramirez had four hits and Alex Rios four RBIs for the

White Sox, who scored 10 fewer runs Monday than they totaled during

their losing streak.

Rios is batting .321 in his last seven games.

Chicago could be without left fielder Dayan Viciedo, who jammed

his thumb in the opener trying to make a diving catch.