(AP) – After winning the first two games of their series with the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox will take on another pitcher who was a former division rival as they try to clinch a series win.
The Yankees will send ace CC Sabathia to the mound Thursday night when they try to salvage a four-game split against the visiting White Sox.
New York (13-8) avoided a third straight loss behind Bartolo Colon in Wednesday’s 3-1 victory. The 37-year-old right-hander, who spent his first six seasons in the AL Central with Cleveland and was with the White Sox in 2009, gave up one run over eight superb innings.
The White Sox (10-15) continue to struggle on offense with nine runs over their last six games, and it could be difficult for them to get untracked against Sabathia (1-1, 2.73 ERA).
The left-hander earned his first victory Saturday at Baltimore by yielding three runs over a season-high eight innings in a 15-3 rout. He was pitching on five days’ rest because Friday’s game was rained out.
“Maybe that extra day did help him,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I saw him (Friday) and he looked OK, but you know he had a low-grade fever and wasn’t feeling great.”
Sabathia spent nearly his first eight seasons with the Indians, and has beaten the White Sox more than any other opponent. He’s 16-4 with a 3.82 ERA against Chicago, although he’s 2-0 with a 5.14 ERA in three outings with the Yankees.
Numerous Chicago hitters have fared poorly against him, including Paul Konerko (.233), A.J. Pierzynski (.167) and newcomer Adam Dunn (.200).
Ramon Castro has started at catcher in place of Pierzynski in four of Chicago’s five games against left-handers. Castro is a .211 hitter and 1 for 9 against Sabathia.
Manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the first inning Wednesday for arguing a called third strike against Konerko. He immediately took to Twitter during the game, calling the ejection pathetic and saying it would cost him a pricey fine.
“I said, ‘Don’t let those guys intimidate you,’” Guillen said. “He got the right to kick me out because when I went out, when he could hear what I had to say, he had to kick me out of the game.”
The Yankees have scored six runs in this series. Robinson Cano’s three-run homer in the first inning was all they managed Wednesday.
Mark Teixeira is 1 for 9 in the series, Alex Rodriguez is 2 for 12 and Nick Swisher is 0 for 8 to bring his hitless streak to 13.
Chicago’s starters have a 2.05 ERA in this series, with each pitching at least seven innings.
Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.88) will try to continue that success and avoid a third straight loss after the White Sox won his first three outings. Jackson gave up a season-high eight runs over 5 2-3 innings Saturday in a 9-0 loss at Detroit.
“Jax just didn’t have a slider at all,” Pierzynski said. “It was just spinning up there, and usually it is his best pitch.”
Jackson is 2-5 with a 4.81 ERA in 11 career starts against the Yankees. Derek Jeter is 11 for 31 against him and Rodriguez is 9 for 22, but Cano is 6 for 27.
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