The New York Yankees and host Chicago White Sox will square off in the final game of an emotional three-game series when they meet in the weekend finale Sunday afternoon.
It has been a dramatic first two games for the teams, who met Thursday night in the “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa. The White Sox rallied for a 9-8 win in that nationally televised contest, and the Yankees responded with a 7-5 win Saturday night in Chicago.
Now comes a series finale that carries implications for both teams as they look to make a postseason run.
Chicago will turn to right-hander Lucas Giolito (9-8, 3.81 ERA) as he make his 24th start of the season. He is looking to stay hot after one of his best performances of the season Monday, when he allowed one run on two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in eight innings against the Minnesota Twins.
Giolito is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees. He has surrendered 14 runs (12 earned) in 16 innings while walking 11 and striking out 19.
Giolito said he has pitched with “controlled anger” against opposing hitters this season.
“Just create it, find something to tick myself off — things batters are doing — and let it fuel me,” Giolito said.
The Yankees will counter with left-hander Nestor Cortes (0-1, 2.70 ERA), who will make his sixth start this season. The 26-year-old from Cuba has five career victories but has yet to record a win this year.
Cortes will try to rebound after taking the loss Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals. He gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
In one career game against the White Sox, Cortes is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. He gave up two runs on six hits in five innings.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Cortes for his versatility.
“The great thing about him is whatever role you put him in, he’s ready for it, like, ‘Give me the ball,'” Boone said. “Whether it’s been soaking up innings out of the pen on a day we need it, whether it’s been a high-leverage spot out of the bullpen and now as a starter, he’s been really strong for us this year and an important part of all this.”
Cortes occasionally will change his wind-up as a way to try to distract hitters.
“He’s willing to pull out a bunch of different tricks when he needs them,” Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said. “But ultimately, there’s substance underlying a lot of that, so it’s not just fluff on the top.”
Jose Abreu will try to stay hot after going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer Saturday. He is hitting .257 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs on the season.
For the Yankees, Aaron Judge will try to keep swinging a hot bat after knocking his 26th homer of the season Saturday. He is hitting .286 with 63 RBIs on the season.
–Field Level Media