The New York Yankees have won 15 of 17 games entering Thursday's visit to the Chicago White Sox to begin a four-game series.
Wednesday's 5-3 home victory against Toronto, fueled by a three-run home run and two-run single from Gleyber Torres, again highlighted the Yankees' versatility, and their ability to rally. It was the team's MLB-best 10th comeback victory already in 2022.
"It's been nice that it's come in a lot of different ways, and I think that's building a lot of confidence in that room, that we know we don't have to lean on one thing on a given night," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We have a lot of different ways to beat you."
The White Sox have won seven of eight and enter off an unexpected rest day. Wednesday's scheduled matinee against the Cleveland Guardians was postponed due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Guardians organization.
In addition to offering extra rest time for the bullpen -- namely closer Liam Hendriks, who collected five saves in as many appearances to begin May before blowing a save Monday -- the postponement also might provide a lift for Leury Garcia. Initially set to start at second base Thursday, Garcia was a late scratch with left ankle soreness.
The White Sox defeated the Guardians 4-1 on Tuesday night as Lucas Giolito pitched seven innings of one-run ball, Tim Anderson had three hits and Gavin Sheets homered for the second straight game. Chicago rebounded after squandering a six-run ninth-inning lead en route to losing 12-9 in 11 innings Monday.
"We're in a spot where we can self-evaluate very well," Giolito said. "We didn't have to say anything, we didn't have to have a meeting. We didn't have to have anything after that game."
Manager Tony La Russa said the defending American League Central division champion White Sox are "hungrier than they were last year. Because they had another taste of it and they want it."
White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease (3-1, 2.38 ERA) is set to face Yankees righty Luis Gil, who makes his season debut.
Cease is coming off a no-decision at Boston on Saturday, when he scattered one run and four hits in five innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. He is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees with 12 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings.
Gil was 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in six starts last season, with 38 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. After opening his career with 15 2/3 scoreless innings over three August starts, Gil was spottier down the stretch, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) and four homers in 13 2/3 September innings.
Gil, who hasn't faced the White Sox, pitched five innings of two-run ball for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday, with nine strikeouts and zero walks in an outing at Rochester. He threw 78 pitches.
"The talent is obviously there," Boone said. "When he came up here last year, he pitched well, as we saw. He pitched in some important games for us. He's got off to a little bit of a slow start in Triple-A, but he's coming off a really strong outing, his best outing. And he's built up a full-starter load. So if we want 100 pitches, he could do that."
Chicago's Luis Robert enters on a nine-game hitting streak.
--Field Level Media