Slumbering Yanks offense awakens in time for split

Hero: Hideki Matsui, who was 3-4 with two singles and four RBIs.

Did you see that? Matsui's third-inning double chased home two for the Yanks as center fielder Darin Erstad misread the ball. Erstad desperately retreated for Matsui's fly ball and it sailed over his head.

Power outage: Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-8 in the doubleheader and is in a 2-for-25 slump.

Quotable: "Hopefully this starts something, because we're certainly capable." -- Yankees manager Joe Torre on the team's offense

-- ESPN.com news services

Yankees 8, White Sox 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Chien-Ming Wang's pitching led the way on a night the Yankees showed they might be ready to break out of an offensive funk.

"We've had pretty good pitching, but we haven't been able to mount any kind of offense," Yankees manager Joe Torre said after Wednesday night's 8-1 win over the Chicago White Sox earned a split in their day-night doubleheader.

"Hopefully this starts something, because we're certainly capable."

Hideki Matsui drove in four runs, slumping Bobby Abreu had a key RBI single and Derek Jeter added a run-scoring triple. Melky Cabrera and Jorge Posada homered in the ninth.

"Wang did what he usually does. We swung the bats a little better," Jeter said. "We've just been scuffling. We needed one of these games, but we need it to continue."

Wang (2-3) allowed six hits and a run over seven innings. He beat Jose Contreras (3-4), who gave up five hits and four runs -- two earned -- in 6 2/3 innings on a 46-degree night at U.S. Cellular Field.

In the first game, Chicago rookie lefty John Danks worked out of a couple of tight jams and outpitched veteran Mike Mussina to give the White Sox a 5-3 victory.

The second game was delayed at the start for one hour, 15 minutes by rain.

Matsui hit a two-out, two-run double in the third inning of the nightcap when Chicago center fielder Darin Erstad apparently had trouble reading the ball and couldn't retreat fast enough as it sailed over his head. The inning was aided by shortstop Juan Uribe's error on Jeter's grounder.

Erstad scored Chicago's run in the sixth after leading off with single. Pablo Ozuna was hit by a pitch and two outs later, Rob Mackowiak delivered an RBI single to end Wang's shutout bid. But the rally fizzled when Ozuna was thrown out at third by center fielder Cabrera.

"We had a chance. We had a couple of men on base with no outs. We couldn't get something going," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He [Wang] threw the ball really good and we couldn't make anything happen."

The Yankees tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Abreu, who'd struck out his first three at-bats. Jeter followed with an RBI triple to right center as Erstad hit the fence chasing the drive.

Cabrera and Posada homered and Matsui hit a two-run, bases-loaded single off Andrew Sisco in a four-run ninth to make it 8-1.

In the opener, Danks (2-4) struck out a career-high seven in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up two runs and seven hits in winning his second straight start.

"It's more important just to get a win. Obviously to beat a team like the Yankees that makes you feel a little better about yourself," he said.

A.J. Pierzynski hit a tiebreaking homer to start a three-run sixth and Paul Konerko also homered for the White Sox.

Abreu homered off Danks and Josh Phelps added a solo shot off David Aardsma, but the Yankees -- struggling to score runs right now, like the White Sox -- couldn't sustain a big inning.

Danks retired Alex Rodriguez on a foul pop with two runners on in the fifth and struck out Miguel Cairo with runners at second and third in the sixth.

"I have great respect for those guys. Those guys have been doing it for a long time," Danks said. "But I needed to be aggressive to them and make them hit my pitch. I ended up throwing a curveball to A-Rod that froze him a little bit. Cairo, same thing. A big situation in the game."

Pierzynski, moved into the No. 3 slot in the batting order, homered to put the White Sox ahead 3-2. One out later, Jermaine Dye doubled, Mackowiak was hit by a pitch and Joe Crede delivered an RBI single to finish Mussina (2-2).

Mussina had been scheduled to start Tuesday night before the game was postponed because of rain.

"When you're off for a week sometimes you lose a feel on things," Mussina said. "You lose that extra little finish on pitches. Today I didn't have the stuff that I would have liked to have and it showed."

Making his first start in a week, Mussina gave up eight hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

"Mike changes speeds so much and he throws so many different pitches, you just have to hope he makes a mistake and he did and I hit it out," said Pierzynski, Chicago's home run leader with seven.

Tadahito Iguchi's sacrifice fly off reliever Luis Vizcaino made it 5-2.

Acquired in an offseason trade with Texas, Danks lost his first four decisions, but has pitched decently all season since winning the fifth starter's job in spring training.

"He's not afraid. He comes right after guys," Pierzynski said.

Matt Thornton came on to get the final four outs to record his first save.

Erstad hit a two-out RBI single to score Iguchi and give Chicago a 2-1 lead. Cabrera then robbed Juan Uribe of a two-run homer by leaping high at the left-field fence and pulling back his long drive.

In the top of the sixth, Cabrera hit a two-out, RBI double after Posada walked and Abreu singled, tying it at 2. Danks escaped a big inning by fanning Cairo.

Konerko was 0-for-11 and 10-for-60 before homering to right center off Mussina in the fourth.

Abreu, in a 1-for-20 skid, tied it with his second homer, leading off the fifth, a liner that just cleared the fence in left center.

Game notes
Rodriguez went 0-for-8 in the doubleheader and is in a 2-for-25 slump. He made several nice defensive plays at third. ... Mussina is 15-16 in his career against the White Sox -- the most lifetime losses against the White Sox by any active pitcher. ... Guillen said he's leaning toward bringing Contreras back on three days rest to start the series finale Sunday against the Cubs. ... The White Sox optioned backup catcher Gustavo Molina to Triple-A Charlotte after the second game and are expected to activate Toby Hall off the disabled list Thursday.