Step 1 to closing the gap on the Red Sox would be winning their next series, with the starting assignment for Tuesday's contest going to veteran right-hander Mike Mussina.
Mussina, 38, will be making his fifth start of the season against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, coming off a pair of sharp efforts against the Texas Rangers after losing time to a strained left hamstring earlier this season.
In his most recent effort, Mussina limited the Rangers to two runs and three hits over six innings on May 9 at Yankee Stadium. Mussina will be looking to surpass Yankees Hall of Famer Herb Pennock for sole possession of 50th place on the all-time wins list with his 242nd career victory.
The White Sox will counter with left-hander John Danks, who will be making his seventh start of the season. Danks picked up a win at the Metrodome in his last start on May 9.Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (2-1, 4.76 ERA)
In each full season since joining the Yankees in 2001, Mussina has started at least 25 games and finished at least three games above .500. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Yankees pitchers to begin their careers with similar streaks were Allie Reynolds (1947-52) and Andy Pettitte (1995-2001). CWS: LHP John Danks (1-4, 4.33 ERA)
The 22-year-old rookie could spell trouble for the Yankees' predominantly left-handed lineup. In his brief big-league career, Danks has limited lefties to a .167 average, compared to .272 for righties. Player to watch
Jermaine Dye has struggled with the Mendoza line this year, but he's red-hot against Mussina. The Chicago outfielder is batting .404 (19-for-47) with two home runs and eight RBIs against Mussina for his career. On the Internet
Official game notes On television
YES On radio
880 AM WCBS, 92.7 WQBU-FM (Español) Up next
Wednesday: Yankees (RHP Chien-Ming Wang, 1-3, 5.40) at White Sox (RHP Jose Contreras, 3-3, 3.79), 8:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Yankees (RHP Matt DeSalvo, 1-0, 1.98) at White Sox (RHP Jon Garland, 2-2, 3.44), 2:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Yankees (LHP Andy Pettitte, 2-2, 2.68) at Mets (LHP Oliver Perez, 4-3, 3.00), 7:05 p.m. ET
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less