LIVE: White Sox trail Yankees, 9-0

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LIVE: White Sox trail Yankees, 9-0

Thursday, April 28, 2011Posted: 10:10 a.m.
Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox had plenty of problems in their last game against a pitcher who was a former division rival. Facing another in succession probably won't be any easier.

The New York 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.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana and Miguel Gonzalez looked like a pair of pitchers who began their offseasons earlier to prep for the World Baseball Classic.

Both White Sox starting pitchers looked sharp as they made their spring debuts in a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch on Sunday afternoon. Team USA relievers David Robertson and Nate Jones also pitched a scoreless inning each in the win. Prospect Zack Burdi also pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Gonzalez, who is on the Team Mexico roster, only allowed a single on a dropped pop up on the infield in two scoreless innings.

“I’m a little ahead of the game right now,” Gonzalez said. “I started a little earlier this year in the offseason to work out, thinking I wanted to go to the WBC and get ready for that. But I think the most important thing right now is getting ready for April 1 with the White Sox. That’s my goal, and you don’t get these opportunities every year. To represent Mexico, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be great.”

Quintana, who will start for Colombia in their March 10 opener against the United States, allowed a run and a hit in two innings. He struck out one and hit a batter.

“I feel good,” Quintana said. “I think for the first day I feel comfortable. I hit the glove. I feel good. A couple of pitches spinning were good and I feel really good.”

[RELATED: Jim Thome on being a finalist for National Baseball Hall of Fame]

Robertson is throwing much earlier than normal in anticipation of his March 6 departure for Miami, where Team USA begins its tournament. The club’s closer normally wouldn’t appear in a game until the calendar turns to March. Robertson said he usually only needs 5-6 spring outings to get in shape for the regular season. Though he felt a little rusty, the right-hander was pleased with several changeups and fastballs he threw.

“I wouldn’t say it was smooth but I got through it,” Robertson said. “I had a few bad pitches that were just not competitive. … All in all I got through what seemed like a tough inning for a first outing.

“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to go down there and put the ‘USA’ across my chest and have a chance to win something for our country. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m excited to play with a group of guys I’ve been playing against my whole life.”

Eddie Alvarez had a three-run double for the White Sox while Tyler Saladino collected two hits in three trips. Catcher Roberto Pena went 2-for-2 with an RBI. 

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Normally upbeat and positive, Jim Thome can’t help but beam with pride when asked about his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Thome, who blasted 612 career home runs, including 134 with the White Sox, is eligible for induction for the first time in 2018. Even though he’s expected by many to one day be voted into Cooperstown, perhaps even in his first year, Thome said he’s merely honored to be on the ballot. Thome is joined on the ballot by Chipper Jones and former teammate Omar Vizquel, among others. Voting begins in December and the results will be announced next January.

“To even be on the ballot and thought of, it would be the greatest honor I think you could get,” Thome said. “Or if you get an opportunity to go into the greatest fraternity baseball has or created, it would be indescribable. How do you ever think as a kid or a high school player or even going through the minor leagues, that you’d play at the big leagues that long? And then to get an opportunity at the end of your career to be put on the ballot is so great.

“That would be the coolest moment ever.”

Thome – who is in White Sox camp as a special assistant to the general manager – provided plenty of big moments in a career that spanned 22 seasons. He hit 30 home runs in 12 of 13 seasons between 1996-2008, leading the league with 47 in 2003. The slugger was a five-time All-Star and produced 72.9 b-Wins Above Replacement.

[RELATED: Brett Lawrie trying to clear final hurdles]

Thome isn’t as superstitious about his candidacy as others previously have been. He won’t be the guy to bring up the topic, but the Peoria, Ill.-native doesn’t shy away from discussing it, either.

“It’s not something you talk a lot about,” Thome said. “We’re not going to bring it up. But when people do bring it up, there’s a sense of pride, a sense of ‘Wow, baseball has thought that highly to put you on the ballot.’ And the fact that there’s just this wonderful fraternity of incredible players that you could be a part of, if you’re chosen.”