NEW YORK (AP) -- The ball rolled up the first-base line in foul
territory and Hideki Matsui didn't run. Then it kicked back fair,
and by then it was too late.
He was an easy out.
"We're not very good right now," Derek Jeter said. "It looks
like nobody is having much fun, putting a lot of pressure on
New York's All-Star-laden lineup has scored just 16 runs in five
games since its season-opening Tokyo trip, going 2-3 against Tampa
Bay and the White Sox. The Yankees are hitting a collective .206 in
their 3-4 start, with underwhelming averages compiled by Alex
Rodriguez (.160), Bernie Williams (.200), Jeter (.214), Jorge
Posada (.217) and Gary Sheffield (.240).
"There's not much to be cheering about me," Rodriguez said
after his team seemed to sleep through the sunny spring afternoon.
"I haven't really done anything with a Yankee uniform on."
Manager Joe Torre sensed frustration. New York got four hits for
a two-day total of 10, and Chicago pitchers had nine 1-2-3 innings
in the two games.
"We hope we got this ugliness out," Torre said.
While the Yankees are scuffling, Chicago is rolling.
Making his first career start at Yankee Stadium, Buehrle (1-0)
allowed only a pair of unearned runs caused by two throwing errors
by Valentin in the first.
Protecting a 5-2 lead in the fifth, Buehrle held tough. He fell
behind Rodriguez 3-1 with two on and two outs, then came back to
strike him out with a cut fastball.
Buehrle left Monday's opener at Kansas City with a 7-3 lead, but
his bullpen failed to hold it.
"Opening day I was pretty nervous," Buehrle said. "This is a
lot bigger than opening day, pitching in Yankee Stadium."
Ordonez put the White Sox ahead in the first against Jorge
DePaula (0-1) with his third homer in four games, a two-run drive
on a chest-high pitch.
New York tied the score in the bottom half. Valentin threw away
Bernie Williams' grounder to shortstop and, with one out, took
Sheffield's grounder, stepped on second and threw wildly to first
in his attempt for a double play. Williams scored on the grounder
and Rodriguez, who had singled, came home on the error,
Joe Crede doubled leading off the second and scored on Willie
Harris' double for a 3-2 lead. Valentin, 3-for-17 (.176) with nine
strikeouts, connected for his first homer of the season, another
"After I made the two errors, I said, `Something good has got
to happen for me today," Valentin recalled. "It was a relief for
me -- now I'm even."
Matsui is still trying to get back to even on the basepaths. On
Friday, he was picked off second base, and Torre said the
outfielder told him before the game that he had to work on his
running. On the roller Saturday, Matsui didn't run because he
thought the ball would stay foul.
"He's devastated by it," Torre said, adding: "You've got to
runs balls out."
Buehrle had gone over to the line, just in case.
"He kind of tried to dodge me," the pitcher said. "He could
have plowed me, but that's the way he is."
DePaula, a rookie making his second major league start, allowed
five runs in the first two innings.
Filling in as the fifth starter while Jon Lieber is on the DL,
DePaula rebounded to get 12 straight outs before tiring in the
Torre wasn't concerned about the pitcher. And he's not really
worried about his batters.
The Yankees say they are just trying too hard as they try to
live up to their reputation as the $183 juggernaut assembled by
owner George Steinbrenner.
"I was trying to hit five grand slams in the first game,"
Rodriguez said. "But here at the Stadium I've been feeling very
Jason Giambi, who struggled when he arrived two years ago, knows
"They want to get big hits, that's why everybody came here, to
win," he said. "Sometimes you try too hard in this game.
Everybody wants to do well, not only for the team, but for the
fans, Mr. Steinbrenner."
But how to turn it around?
"If I have to throw a helmet and hit a cooler, I'll do that,"
Chicago LHP Kelly Wunsch, on the disabled list since March
31 because of an inflamed muscle, was to start a rehabilitation
assignment Saturday at Triple-A Charlotte. ... Kenny Lofton,
originally slated to play CF for New York, was removed from the
starting lineup because of a tight right quadriceps and won't play
Sunday, according to Torre. ... Chicago had 13 hits. ... Billy Koch
allowed another unearned run in the ninth, making a throwing error
and giving up an RBI single to Posada. ... Harris matched a career
high with three hits, including an RBI single in a two-run ninth
off Tom Gordon. Ordonez followed with a bad-hop double that kicked
off 2B Miguel Cairo and rolled into foul territory behind first.