Liriano posted a 12-3 record and 2.16 ERA as a rookie with the Twins in 2006. Last year, in his first full season with the Yankees, Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Although both have shown flashes of their potential in starts since, neither has found extended streaks of consistency this season.
"It's been tough this year," Nova said after allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings his last time out, against Texas. "A lot of people are expecting more from me, and I'm not happy with what I'm doing."
Liriano can speak to expectations, and they are part of the reason the White Sox acquired him prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline in their attempt to remain atop the American League Central, with the Tigers two games behind.
The 28-year-old Liriano was an All-Star as a rookie and the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010 after missing the entire '07 and some of '09 due to Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
But Liriano's ERA rose to 5.09 ERA in 2011 and stands at 5.22 this year, although the four starts he's made for the White Sox were marred by only one rough outing, against Oakland. Excluding that effort, Liriano has a 2.60 ERA, with his only win coming his last time out, against Toronto.
"He has pitched well a couple times and we haven't scored any runs for him, so it was nice tonight that we scored enough runs to get him a win," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after Liriano held the Blue Jays to two runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Nova has also pitched well against the Blue Jays recently, having held them to two runs on 10 strikeouts, pitching into the eighth inning on Aug. 11. The 25-year-old righty thought he turned a corner after two rough outings, but his struggles returned in his last start.
"I'm not going to say if it's mechanical or anything; I'm just not throwing strikes," Nova said on Thursday. "One day, I'm going to find out what's the problem. Hopefully, it will be tomorrow, so I can be ready for the next one [against the White Sox]."
New York: Teixeira returns strong
Mark Teixeira showed no signs of rust on Monday in his return from a three-day absence due to a sore left wrist. The slugging first baseman singled in a run in his first at-bat against starter Gavin Floyd during New York's 9-6 loss.
Teixeira went 2-for-4 with two RBIs on the night and said he likely could have returned for Sunday's 4-1 win over the Red Sox, but the club remained cautious. Teixeira missed two games earlier this month after receiving a cortisone shot to reduce the soreness, but it returned recently and forced the switch-hitter to the bench again.
"I just needed him to tell me he felt good, his wrist," said manager Joe Girardi. "I don't think he forgot how to hit in the last few days, so I'm not real worried about that. I just needed him to tell me his wrist felt good."
Chicago: Disabled list likely in De Aza's future
Fighting back stiffness, Alejandro De Aza was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game on Monday, and the White Sox are likely to put him to the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game to add another option off the bench -- perhaps Jordan Danks.
The White Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, and with De Aza unavailable, backup catcher Tyler Flowers and infielder Ray Olmedo are the only viable bench options.
De Aza is hitting .281 with 21 stolen bases and 73 runs scored as Chicago's center fielder and leadoff hitter. Danks started in right field for Triple-A Charlotte on Monday but was pulled after three innings, hinting at a potential return to the big leagues.
"[De Aza has] been big for us, leading off and playing a great center field," said manager Robin Ventura. "It's just, again, we're looking at our roster."
Dewayne Wise, who appeared in 56 games earlier this season with the Yankees before being designated for assignment, led off for Chicago and played center field on Monday. He went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer in Chicago's five-run fifth inning.
In Monday's loss, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, recording a hit for the second time in as many games after being mired in an 0-for-16 slump.
Yankees ace CC Sabathia will throw a bullpen session at U.S. Cellular Field before Tuesday's game, preparing for a return from the 15-day DL and a start in Friday's series opener against the Indians in Cleveland.
It took until there were two outs in the ninth inning on Monday, but Ichiro Suzuki singled to give himself a hit in 22 of his 24 starts since joining the Yankees.