Ivan Nova goes after his 10th win of the season this evening when the New York Yankees open a four-game set with the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
The Yanks may need Nova even more now after losing both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte to injuries on Wednesday. Just hours after Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin, Pettitte fractured the fibula near his left ankle after he was hit by a Casey Kotchman line drive during the Yanks' 5-4 win. He's expected to miss four to six weeks.
"When I came to the park I was feeling pretty good about the way we've been playing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "No one's going to feel sorry for us. Guys have to step up, that's the bottom line."
The Yanks completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, as Robinson Cano went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in New York's fifth straight win.
Pettitte gave up two runs -- one earned -- on three hits before leaving. Freddy Garcia (2-2), who is now expected to rejoin the rotation, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
"I felt I needed to try to win the game," Girardi said, "and Freddy did an outstanding job. He's one of the reasons we won this game today."
Tonight, though it will be Nova, who is 9-2 with a 4.25 ERA. Nova has won his last five decisions, but did not receive a decision on Saturday against the Mets, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Nova is 2-0 with a 1.37 in three starts against the White Sox.
Chicago, meanwhile, won the final two games of its series with Minnesota and Wednesday's 12-5 victory moved the White Sox 2 1/2 games up on the Indians for the AL Central lead.
Adam Dunn homered and had four RBI, while Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-4 and collected his first two RBI in a White Sox uniform for Chicago, which pounded out 21 hits in the win.
"The last couple of weeks, I haven't felt real good at the plate," said Dunn, who snapped an 0-for-29 skid with his fifth-inning home run. "Yesterday I started feeling a little better and today I felt good, so hopefully it continues."
Chris Sale (9-2) allowed two runs on six hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts over seven innings to earn the win. Will Ohman tossed the final two frames to close it out for the White Sox.
Getting the call for the ChiSox tonight will be righty Dylan Axelrod, who is 0-1 with a 5.54 ERA. Axelrod started for the injured Philip Humber on Saturday against Milwaukee, but did not get a decision, despite a poor showing. He allowed five runs and six hits in just 5 1/3 innings in his team's 8-6 win.
He has never faced the Yankees.
The Yankees have won six in a row from the White Sox and are 15-5 in their last 20 at home in the series.