(AP) — After consecutive strong pitching performances by Chicago White Sox starters, it’s now Mark Buehrle’s turn as Chicago looks to lock up a series win in New York.
No AL team has been tougher for Buehrle to solve than the New York Yankees heading into Wednesday night’s matchup in the Bronx.
Chicago (10-14) has used stellar work from its starters to capture the first two games of this four-game set. Phil Humber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Monday’s 2-0 victory before Gavin Floyd pitched into the ninth of Tuesday’s 3-2 win.
The Yankees (12-8) have totaled seven hits in the series, but could find better success Wednesday. That’s because Buehrle (1-2, 5.40 ERA) is 1-7 in 11 career starts against New York with a 6.68 ERA – his worst mark against an AL team.
New York is hitting .345 against him. Buehrle has had trouble with Mark Teixeira (.341), Derek Jeter (.371) and Nick Swisher has gone 10 for 22.
All of those hitters, however, are currently struggling. Teixeira is 1 for 11 in his last three games, Jeter is hitting .259 and Swisher is hitless in his last 14 at-bats.
Buehrle has lost his last two starts, and gave up a season-high six runs over 5 2-3 innings in Friday’s 9-3 loss at Detroit.
Solo homers by Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner off Floyd on Tuesday are all New York has mustered in this series. The Yankees have lost consecutive games for the first time.
“I think we’ve had two poor days,” said Alex Rodriguez. “We ran into a little bit of a wall the last two days. They’re throwing a high percentage of breaking pitches the last two days and keeping us off balance.”
Brent Lillibridge, who entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch-runner in the eighth, made two spectacular catches in a row to preserve the win. The White Sox entered this series having lost 10 of 11.
Paul Konerko hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. He’s 8 for 21 with six RBIs in his last five games.
New York’s Jorge Posada – 4 for 21 against Buehrle – will likely be back in the lineup. A .145 hitter this season, Posada sat out for the second time this season Tuesday, and six of his nine hits have been homers.
“There have been some days when he’s hit the ball decent and hasn’t had a whole lot to show for it,” manager Joe Girardi told the Yankees’ official website. “That becomes frustrating for a player. As a player, what you need to guard against is trying to do too much.”
The Yankees will start veteran Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.50), who is coming off his first victory since May 26, 2009, with the White Sox. Colon, starting with Phil Hughes on the disabled list, yielded two runs over 6 2-3 innings in last Wednesday’s 6-2 victory at Toronto.
“I never thought I was going to come back and play baseball again,” Colon said through a translator.
The right-hander struck out seven and walked two. Colon has extensive experience against Konerko (12 for 41) and A.J. Pierzynski (6 for 33).
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