New York hopes Ivan Nova can get himself right on Tuesday when the Yankees continue a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Nova seemed to turn the corner after a couple of rough outings when he limited the Toronto Blue Jays to two runs and struck out 10 in 7 1/3 innings of a win on Aug. 11. However, he was awful on Thursday against the Texas Rangers, surrendering four runs and seven hits with four walks in 5 2/3 innings, but escaped without a decision in his team's 10-6 loss.
"It's been tough this year," Nova said. "A lot of people are expecting more from me, and I'm not happy with what I'm doing."
Nova could get back on track against the White Sox, as he is 2-0 in four starts against them with a 1.33 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Francisco Liriano, who picked up his first win as a member of the White Sox his last time out. Liriano beat the Blue Jays on Thursday, holding them to a pair of runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He also struck out six and improved to 1-0 in four starts for Chicago since being acquired by Minnesota.
"He has pitched well a couple times and we haven't scored any runs for him, so it was nice tonight that we scored enough runs to get him a win," Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after that start.
He is 4-10 on the year, though, and has pitched to a 5.22 ERA overall.
Liriano was roughed up by the Yankees while still with the Twins back on April 17 to the tune of five runs and seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings. He is 1-4 lifetime against them with a 4.02 ERA in eight games (7 starts).
In Monday's opener between the division leaders, Alexei Ramirez smacked a tie- breaking two-run homer in the seventh inning to propel Chicago past the Yankees, 9-6. DeWayne Wise, Adam Dunn and Gordon Beckham also hit home runs for the AL Central leaders, who fell behind 3-0 after two innings, but then scored nine times over their last four frames.
Pierzynski went 3-for-5 with an RBI, as Chicago bounced back after being swept in Kansas City over the weekend.
The White Sox also snapped a six-game home skid to the Yankees.
"We didn't get off to a good start tonight," Dunn said. "I think it shows the resiliency of this team. We just kept battling."
Derek Jeter went 4-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored, and moved up the all-time hits list. Jeter increased his career hit total to 3,255, which passed Nap Lajoie (3,252) and tied Eddie Murray for 11th place.
Mark Teixeira knocked in two runs, but the Yankees saw their lead in the AL East dwindle to four games over the Tampa Bay Rays.
These teams split four games in the Bronx earlier in the year.