The Yankees whiffed at a prime chance Sunday to sweep the Orioles and make up a little more ground in the American League East and Wild Card standings.
The Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Orioles on Sunday kept them from what would have been a huge three-game sweep, instead dropping them a half-game behind Baltimore in the division and Wild Card races. New York is currently in fourth place in both with 26 games remaining.
Now, New York will look to get back on track and slice away at its deficit against the White Sox, who come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series starting Monday afternoon. And it'll be on right-hander Phil Hughes to get the Yankees off to a strong start.
Hughes' start was pushed back from Sunday to Monday due to his recent struggles. Hughes gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings last Monday against the Blue Jays, bringing his August ERA to 6.46. He's lost 11 of 13 decisions since May 15, including his last start in Toronto, which he called another "hiccup" in a "horrible season."
Manager Joe Girardi didn't exactly provide a ringing endorsement of Hughes' status after that outing, simply saying, "Right now he's in our rotation. We haven't talked about taking him out of our rotation."
But Hughes recognizes the opportunity to atone for some of his mistakes by pitching well down the stretch.
"Every time you have one of these outings, I try and look at the positive," Hughes said. "I still have the opportunity to pitch in big games where it really matters, and that's all I can do."
The White Sox will send left-hander Jose Quintana to the mound as they look to play the role of spoiler after getting swept by the Red Sox.
Quintana is coming off his third straight quality start but also his second consecutive no-decision. He struck out eight and gave up only three runs over 7 2/3 innings against the Astros on Tuesday.
Despite having the second-worst winning percentage in the AL, Chicago is still looking to salvage something out of a disappointing season.
"Really, I think the mindset in here is just win every game we play. We are going to win as many games as we can. We all signed up for 162 and had hoped for more. But we understand where we are at," starter John Danks said Saturday. "You know, we are going to compete and play hard and we are going to try to win, no matter who we are playing."
White Sox: Callups bolster depth
The White Sox added left-hander Charlie Leesman and catcher Bryan Anderson to their roster Sunday, giving them 37 players on their 40-man roster and 27 active players. They should add more depth Tuesday, as Triple-A Charlotte's season ends Monday. Manager Robin Ventura said the club's callups figure to get playing time in September, which means some of his veterans will lose starts.
"Again, they have to understand that other guys are coming up, and as long as they are here, they are going to get some playing time," Ventura said. "Nobody is running after [Cal Ripken's consecutive-games] record, so we'll be able to do it."
• Ventura gave Gordon Beckham the day off Sunday, as the slumping second baseman is 7-for-50 in his last 13 games. His average has dropped from .313 to .283 during that span, and Ventura noticed that Beckham is dealing with minor injuries -- "little things here and there," and some frustration regarding his scuffles.
"You can see him getting frustrated," Ventura said. "It's just a day to kind of take it off of his mind."
Yankees: Adams, Murphy among callups
With an expanded roster in September, the Yankees made their first wave of callups on Sunday. New York signed catcher J.R. Murphy to a Major League contract and selected him to the active roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while also adding lefty Cesar Cabral and recalling infielder David Adams, right-hander Dellin Betances and righty Brett Marshall.
Adams will serve as a utility infielder behind Alex Rodriguez at third base and Robinson Cano at second, and Murphy will be the Yankees' third catcher behind Chris Stewart and Austin Romine.
"Just contribute any way they can, is the bottom line," Girardi said. "One at-bat, you play one inning; any way you can help us out, that's all we're asking them to do."
• To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred infielder Jayson Nix to the 60-day disabled list and unconditionally released outfielder Melky Mesa.
• Yankees captain Derek Jeter went 0-for-4 on Sunday, but he did pick up his 1,258th RBI with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly to pass Bernie Williams for sole possession of sixth place on the Yankees' all-time RBI list.
• The White Sox went 16-13 in August, the fifth-best record in the AL and their second winning month of the season.