The Chicago White Sox target their fifth straight win this afternoon, when they take on the New York Yankees in the third installment of a four-game series in the Bronx.
The AL Central-leading White Sox have won the first two tests of this set and four in a row overall, including Friday's 14-7 drubbing of the hosts at Yankee Stadium. A.J. Pierzynski belted a pair of homers, while Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez both went deep for Chicago, which leads the AL Central by 3 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland and won for the seventh time in nine tries.
"We scrapped a little bit and got a couple of runs when we needed them," White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "The Yankees can score a lot of runs. They have a lot of talent. It was good to be able to keep putting runs up."
White Sox rookie Jose Quintana yielded eight hits and six runs while fanning five to remain unbeaten in his last four appearances.
Chicago is 4-1 on a seven-game road trip and hopes Jake Peavy can keep the momentum going when he toes the rubber Saturday. Peavy has lost three straight starts and previously toed the rubber in Monday's 4-1 loss at Minnesota in which he allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings.
Peavy, who is 6-4 in 15 starts with a 2.84 ERA, is 3-2 in seven outings on the road and 0-3 in three career starts against the Yankees.
New York has lost back-to-back games since winning five in a row, and couldn't keep up with the White Sox despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
Curtis Granderson highlighted a four-run first inning with a two-run homer, while Andruw Jones and Jayson Nix both drove in a pair of runs for the Yankees, who still lead the AL East by four games over Baltimore. Nick Swisher had two hits and scored twice in defeat.
Derek Jeter reached another milestone to highlight New York's four-run first inning, but the lead was short-lived. Jeter started the bottom of the first inning with a double into the left field corner for his 3,185th career hit. That put him one ahead of Cal Ripken Jr. into 13th place on the all-time list. Next up on the list for Jeter is Nap Lajoie at 3,252 hits.
Adam Warren made his major league debut for New York and avoided a decision after he was reached for six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. David Phelps took the loss and surrendered two runs in 3 1/3 frames. Cory Wade did no better in relief either, as he gave up six runs in 2 1/3 frames.
"He's just not locating well and he relies on location," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Wade. "He's been up in the zone at times and that's not who he is. It's been a struggle for him about the last month."
Girardi is strapped for pitchers right now with Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia on the disabled list.
Hiroki Kuroda draws the start for the Yankees Saturday and he has won four of his last five decisions. In Monday's 7-1 triumph over the Indians, Kuroda delivered seven innings of one-run ball and fanned seven batters, pushing his record to 7-7 in 15 starts to go along with a 3.40 ERA.
Kuroda is 1-1 in two career starts against the White Sox and 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in eight home assignments this season.
The Yankees have still won six of eight from the White Sox and are 15-7 in their last 22 at home in the series.