CHICAGO -- The Rocket was nowhere in sight. Matt DeSalvo was there in his place -- but not for long.
DeSalvo got knocked out early, then knocked right back to the minors after the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 6-4 on Monday night. As for Roger Clemens, the Yankees aren't concerned about when he will make his 2007 debut.
It is expected to happen Saturday against Pittsburgh.
A more immediate issue is restoring the good vibe they created over the weekend, which got washed away by Jon Garland's pitching and a three-run second inning that chased DeSalvo all the way back to Triple-A.
DeSalvo, starting because Clemens pushed back his 2007 debut after experiencing some groin pain, left with one out in the second after the White Sox scored three times to take a 3-1 lead.
"Obviously, Roger can go out there and shut them down, but we'll wait for Roger," Johnny Damon said.
Garland (4-3) pitched into the ninth inning, allowing seven hits while striking out three and walking three for Chicago, which won for just the second time in nine games.
"I guarantee there's no team in the central that's counting us out," Garland said. "I feel we can go out and pull off a streak, and win 10 in a row or ten out of twelve and be right back where we need to be."
DeSalvo (1-3) simply didn't have it, and the defense didn't help.
DeSalvo allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits after being recalled from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier in the day. He walked one batter and hit Rob Mackowiak after Konerko led off the second with a single.
After Juan Uribe singled to load the bases, Joe Crede sent a slow roller toward third baseman Alex Rodriguez -- who stepped on the base but bounced the throw to first. Konerko scored the first run, and the second one came in when first baseman Josh Phelps threw the ball into left field trying to start a double play on Jerry Owens' grounder.
Iguchi then drove in Crede with a single to right-center that made it 3-0, and Yankees manager Joe Torre decided he had seen enough of DeSalvo.
"We're asking him to do something he may not be ready to do just yet," Torre said. "You've got to sort of give him a pass, even though when you pitch at this level, expectations are higher. In all fairness to him, he certainly didn't figure in our plans."
So he gets a pass back to the minors.
"I belong here, I think," DeSalvo said. "I just need to get myself situated, get my pitches back. ... Some days, you just don't have your best stuff."
Thome made it 5-1 when he hit the 480th homer of his career and his eighth this season. Konerko added his eighth with one out in the seventh.
The Yankees rallied in the ninth, getting an RBI single from Phelps to make it 6-2. Bobby Jenks came on to close and gave up a sacrifice fly to Melky Cabrera, scoring Robinson Cano, and in infield single to Damon that scored Miguel Cairo. Jenks then got Derek Jeter to ground out for his 16th save in 17 chances.
For the Yankees, the only good news came on the medical front.
Clemens' MRI exam on Monday in Tampa, Fla., revealed some disrupted scar tissue -- nothing that should prevent The Rocket from starting Saturday. And Andy Pettitte felt better after leaving Sunday's start with a stiff lower back. He expects to pitch Friday against the Pirates.
Chicago was looking for a jolt after going 1-6 on a trip to Minnesota and Toronto, so manager Ozzie Guillen dropped Konerko to sixth and Crede to ninth in the batting order.
"We've been scraping and battling," Konerko said. "We haven't exactly broke out yet. There's been some games here and there. We scored some runs. We know it's a big hole to dig out of, but we can't be that bad for that long, so sooner or later we've gotta bust out."
- Yankees RHP Carl Pavano is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday.
- The Yankees placed 1B Doug Mientkiewicz on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right wrist.
- The White Sox shook up their struggling bullpen Monday, optioning Mike MacDougal and David Aardsma to Triple-A Charlotte while purchasing the contracts of pitchers Ryan Bukvich and Bret Prinz from the minor league club. They also transferred utility player Pablo Ozuna from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. He has a fracture in his lower right leg and a shoulder injury.