Yankees-White Sox Preview

Ivan Nova hasn’t looked right since the All-Star break, and

after his latest rocky outing the New York Yankees right-hander

hardly sounded like a pitcher expecting to turn the corner anytime


The next time he struggles against the Chicago White Sox will be

the first.

Nova has been outstanding in his first four career starts

against the White Sox, a trend he’ll try to continue Tuesday night

at U.S. Cellular Field by helping New York bounce back from a rough

pitching performance in the series opener.

Nova (11-6, 4.76 ERA) went into the break on a roll, going 4-1

with a 1.70 ERA in his final seven starts, but a little time away

seems to have been a very bad thing. He gave up four runs over 5

2-3 innings Thursday at Texas and actually lowered his post-break

ERA to 7.02.

“It has been tough this year,” Nova told the Yankees’ official

website. “A lot of people are expecting more from me, and I’m not

happy with what I’m doing.”

The Yankees (72-50) saw their AL East lead over Tampa Bay cut to

four games after Monday’s series-opening loss to the White Sox, but

Nova’s focus is clearly on winding up in the postseason rotation

should New York get there.

“If my manager still has confidence in me, he’s going to put me

in the postseason, no matter if I throw good this month, or the

next month,” Nova said.

Nova has looked like a front-line starter against the White Sox

(66-55), a team he could very well wind up facing in October. He’s

2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four career starts in the series, allowing

one run in each outing.

The Chicago hitter with the most success against him – Alejandro

De Aza, who’s 5 for 7 with a homer – was placed on the disabled

list prior to this game due to bruised left ribs.

After being swept over the weekend in Kansas City, the White Sox

didn’t miss a beat without their leadoff hitter in the series

opener. Down 3-0 in the fifth, Chicago hit one homer apiece in each

of the next four innings to win 9-6 and push its AL Central lead

over Detroit back to two games.

“The energy was going down a little bit in Kansas City. We

didn’t get off to a good start tonight,” said designated hitter

Adam Dunn, who hit his major league-leading 36th homer. “I think it

shows the resiliency of this team. … We just kept battling.”

The Yankees, 26-17 against left-handed starters this season,

will see White Sox southpaws in each of the next two games. First

up is Francisco Liriano (4-10, 5.22), who’s coming off his first

win since being acquired from Minnesota.

Liriano held Toronto to two runs and three hits over 6 1-3

innings Thursday in a 7-2 road victory.

“It’s been kind of up and down the last month,” Liriano said.

“I felt pretty good (Thursday). Physically I feel very good.

Location-wise, pitching-wise, it was a good night.”

Liriano picked up his first win – in his seventh start including

postseason – against the Yankees on Aug. 20, 2011, but was rocked

for five runs, seven hits and four walks while lasting just 2 1-3

innings in an 8-3 loss April 17.

Derek Jeter homered and went 4 for 5 on Monday to raise his

August average to .398. He tied Eddie Murray for 11th place on the

career hits list (3,255).

“He just continues to have big days for us,” New York manager

Joe Girardi said. “That’s what he’s doing. It is pretty