|Chi. White Sox (84-68)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||7||1|
|N.Y. Yankees (82-71) «||2||0||1||4||2||0||0||0||x||9||10||0|
Abreu had two home runs and six RBI, Mussina kept up his hopes for a 20-win season and the Yankees drubbed the AL Central-leading White Sox 9-2 on Thursday night.
The White Sox have lost seven of 11 and their AL Central lead was cut to 1½ games over second-place Minnesota, which rallied to win 11-8 at Tampa Bay.
"We don't have anything going forward right now," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We can't play like that. It's going to be tough for us to compete."
Guillen noted before the game that several teams in playoff races were struggling. His club stumbled again heading into a weekend series at Kansas City.
Javier Vazquez (12-14) was ragged on three days of rest, and second baseman Alexi Ramirez let a grounder skip through his legs as the Yankees made it 7-1 in the fourth inning. Midway through the sixth, Ken Griffey Jr. and more than half of Chicago's starters had been pulled.
"I think we're missing something. I don't know what it is. Hopefully, we can get it back," White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.
Guillen wants to rely on his best pitchers down the stretch, and Vazquez made his first outing on short rest since 2004 -- he's 0-3 in such starts. The White Sox lost three of four in New York, and Guillen called the series "horrible."
The Yankees are almost sure to miss the postseason for the first time since starting their run in 1995. The feel is certainly different at Yankee Stadium -- Derek Jeter went over to a group of White Sox during batting practice and wished them well, should they reach October.
With only three games left before their ballpark closes, the Yankees would like to avoid being eliminated at home. New York also pulled some of its starters early, including Alex Rodriguez and his newly dyed blond locks, and won for the fifth time in six games.
"It was an example of how we could've played all year," Mussina said.
Mussina (18-9) earned his 268th victory, tying Hall of Famer Jim Palmer for 33rd on the career list. He gave up one run and five hits in six-plus innings, and still has a chance for his first career 20-win season with starts left at Toronto and Boston.
"The last ones are always the tough ones," he said.
Mussina waved his cap as he left the mound after Brian Anderson's leadoff double in the seventh. The crowd of 53,152 gave him a nice ovation.
"I won the last game I pitched at Yankee Stadium. It was worth tipping my hat," he said.
Abreu picked on a familiar victim, hitting an upper-deck shot to right and another long drive off Vazquez. Abreu has nine home runs in 71 at-bats against the White Sox righty -- the Yankees star has more career home runs and at-bats off Vazquez than any player in the majors.
"I feel very comfortable against him," Abreu said.
|Mike Mussina's final start at Yankee Stadium is a solid one, and it gives him career victory No. 268. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Chicago White Sox|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Josh Fields, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.156|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Paul Phillips, C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||.291|
|Jerry Owens, LF||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Jim Thome, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.244|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||4||1||1||2||0||1||0||.244|
|Ken Griffey Jr., CF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.247|
|Brian Anderson, CF||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.237|
|Alexei Ramirez, 2B-SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||.296|
|Jason Bourgeois, 2B||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Dewayne Wise, LF-RF||3||0||0||0||1||3||1||.290|
|Juan Uribe, 3B-2B^SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.252|
|2B - Orlando Cabrera (32, Mussina), Brian Anderson (13, Mussina), Jason Bourgeois (1, Britton)|
|HR - Paul Konerko (17, Britton)|
|RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (53)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Vazquez-Cabrera-Konerko|
|E - Alexei Ramirez (13, Misplayed grounder)|
|Chicago White Sox|
|Javier Vazquez (L,12-14)||3.2||6||7||6||4||4||2||4.32|
|Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 88-52, Horacio Ramirez 31-19, Lance Broadway 29-15, Octavio Dotel 12-9, D.J. Carrasco 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 4-2, Horacio Ramirez 1-2, Lance Broadway 4-0, D.J. Carrasco 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 20, Horacio Ramirez 8, Lance Broadway 7, Octavio Dotel 3, D.J. Carrasco 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Brett Gardner, CF||4||1||1||1||1||2||0||.188|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||2||2||1||1||0||0||.306|
|Cody Ransom, SS||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.333|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||5||2||3||6||0||0||0||.299|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.304|
|Wilson Betemit, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Jason Giambi, DH||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.248|
|a- Chad Moeller, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
|Xavier Nady, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.311|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.243|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||3||2||2||0||1||0||2||.264|
|Juan Miranda, 1B||2||1||0||0||2||1||2||.000|
|Jose Molina, C||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.213|
|Francisco Cervelli, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Giambi in the 8th|
|HR - Bobby Abreu 2 (19, Vazquez, Vazquez)|
|RBI - Brett Gardner (11), Derek Jeter (69), Bobby Abreu 6 (95)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (28), Bobby Abreu 2 (41)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Cano-Jeter-Miranda|
|New York Yankees|
|Mike Mussina (W,18-9)||6||5||1||1||2||4||0||3.57|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 97-61, Jose Veras 15-8, Humberto Sanchez 11-8, Chris Britton 20-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 6-7, Humberto Sanchez 2-0, Chris Britton 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 24, Jose Veras 4, Humberto Sanchez 3, Chris Britton 5|
|Attendance - 53152|
|Game Time - 3:08|
|Temperature - 65|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Tim Welke|