Yankees look for better pitching, visit hot Jimenez, White Sox

With the rotation struggling to produce positive results in recent games -- after nearly two strong months -- the New York Yankees are slumping.

Just in time for a meeting with red-hot Chicago White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez.

New York hopes to get better starting pitching Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Chicago, which is hoping Jimenez continues his current surge.

The Yankees are 3-6 in their past nine games after winning 32 of their previous 42 from April 16-June 1. They settled for a split in Tuesday's doubleheader at home against the New York Mets when James Paxton allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings of a 10-4 loss.

Paxton's performance raised the Yankees' earned run average for starting pitchers to 5.80 in 10 games this month. New York had a 3.50 ERA from its starters in the first month and a 4.07 ERA from its starters in May when the Yankees were 20-7.

Overall, New York's ERA this month is at 5.79 and opposing hitters own a .275 average and a .813 OPS off its starting pitchers in the past 10 games.

"This is a little bit of a challenge right now," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of New York's starting pitching. "But we have guys capable of getting it done."

One of those guys is J.A. Happ, who will open the series. Happ produced the best start in New York's past 10 games when he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings last Thursday in Toronto.

Happ is 5-0 with a 3.82 ERA over his past six starts.

One of Happ's three losses during his slow start was April 12 against Chicago when he allowed six runs on nine hits in four innings in a 9-6 loss when Jimenez homered off relievers Chad Green and Jonathan Holder.

Overall Happ is 4-3 with a 4.79 ERA in seven career starts against the White Sox.

The White Sox are 9-5 in their past 14 games after Jimenez homered for the first time in Chicago in Tuesday's 7-5 win over the Washington Nationals. Jimenez's 462-foot homer occurred two days after a 471-foot homer in Kansas City and in his past 11 games, he is batting .333 (13-for-39) with three homers and eight RBI.

"I know I'm getting better, and that is pretty much one of my best games," Jimenez said. "But there are more to come."

Jimenez is batting .239 with nine homers and 19 RBI but his rookie season was interrupted by missing nearly a month with a sprained right ankle.

"Guys that have a lot of talent kind of grow exponentially," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's just scratching it. He put together some pretty good at-bats today. Hopefully, it will just continue. He's adjusting, he's learning."

The Yankees have homered in 15 straight games after getting four homers in Tuesday's doubleheader. Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela homered in the opener before Brett Gardner connected in the nightcap and the streak is their longest since 1994 and tied for the fifth-most in team history.

Former Yankee Ivan Nova will get a chance to end the streak when he pitches for the White Sox on Thursday.

Nova is allowing opponents to hit .333 and is 0-3 with a 9.39 ERA in five home starts this season.

The right-hander last pitched Friday in Kansas City and allowed four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision.

Nova was with the Yankees from 2010-2016 before being traded to Pittsburgh. Since leaving the Yankees, he is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against them and on April 13 he allowed one run on four hits in six innings in a 4-0 loss at Yankee Stadium.

-- Field Level Media
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