White Sox-Yankees Preview
By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- It's been a rough 24 hours for the New York Yankees' rotation, but their potent offense is making sure manager Joe Girardi isn't too concerned.
The hot-hitting Yankees will go for their sixth straight win Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
New York (46-28) completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland with a 5-4 win Wednesday. Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning to help the Yankees win their fifth straight game and 15th in their last 18.
However, the news wasn't all good. After placing ace CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin, the Yankees announced Andy Pettitte fractured the fibula near his left ankle after he was hit by a Casey Kotchman line drive during Wednesday's 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," Girardi said. "No one's going to feel sorry for us. Guys have to step up, that's the bottom line."
The always-powerful Yankee lineup makes Girardi's job a lot easier. New York is averaging 5.1 runs and has hit 33 homers over its last 18 games, led by Cano, who has seven home runs in his last 10 contests while batting .389.
"If we have to score some runs, we'll score some runs," Girardi said.
The Yankees have had little trouble scoring against the White Sox, averaging 8.2 runs while hitting 10 homers during a six-game winning streak in the series.
Cano is batting .344 in his last 16 games versus Chicago, with home runs in each of his last two.
The White Sox (40-35) enter this series having won four of six overall. They took the final two of three games at Minnesota this week, and pounded out a season-high 21 hits en route to a 12-5 victory in Wednesday's series finale.
Adam Dunn and Alex Rios each homered while Kevin Youkilis had three hits and two RBIs to help Chicago more than double its output of five total runs over its previous three games.
"We haven't been swinging the bats well the last couple weeks so hopefully today it gets everybody's confidence back up and we start rolling again," said Dunn, who finished with three hits to snap out of a 2-for-33 skid in which he had 20 strikeouts.
Youkilis went 5 for 12 in his first series with Chicago after being acquired from Boston on Sunday. He's batting .303 with four homers in his last eight games at Yankee Stadium.
The White Sox will hand the ball to Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 5.54 ERA), who will make his third start of the season and second since being called up to replace the injured Philip Humber.
The right-hander gave up five runs, six hits and hit two batters in 5 1-3 innings Saturday, not getting a decision in an 8-6 victory over Milwaukee. This will be his first appearance against New York
The Yankees expect to call up former fourth-round draft pick Adam Warren to make his major league debut. The right-hander was 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The White Sox have lost 15 of their last 20 games in the Bronx, splitting four games there last season.
Updated June 27, 2012