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04/29/10 8:20 PM ET

White Sox expect more in New York

Ozzie Guillen isn't above applying an object lesson if he thinks his team might be listening. Chicago's manager proved that again on Thursday, when he sent a thinly veiled message to his club about its weekend trip to Yankee Stadium. Guillen said point blank that his team underperformed in its last trip to New York and that he didn't want to see that in Friday's series opener.

"Last year we had a different club," Guillen said. "The way we played in New York last year, the team was very down. I think that series in New York ... was the key. That's when we fell from the pennant race. We were playing good, we were competing, and after that series, everything went very bad. We threw games away we should be winning.

"I don't expect to play that way this year. I hope not. I think that's the worst series that I remember, or the one that hurt the most that we went through last year. I expect a lot better games there this year than in the past."

Indeed, the White Sox were 63-61 and 2 1/2 games out of the American League Central lead when they played back-to-back series against the Red Sox and Yankees last August, and seven games later, they were 64-67 and seven games out in the standings. They never got closer than five games out for the rest of the season, fading down the stretch.

Chicago, off to its worst start since 2001, will send three veterans to the mound against New York. Freddy Garcia will be matched up against Andy Pettitte in Friday's series opener, and John Danks will square off against former White Sox hurler Javier Vazquez in the second game. Mark Buehrle and Phil Hughes will take the hill in Sunday's series finale.

The Yankees rode two homers off the bat of Robinson Cano to take a series victory over the Orioles on Thursday night, a result that clinched a 5-4 road trip. They will head home firmly entrenched with the second-best record in the division. Joe Girardi, the team's manager, is trying to keep things in perspective and ready to play host to Chicago and Baltimore.

"I don't think you can ever be satisfied, but things could be better and things could be worse," said Girardi. "We played pretty well these first 20 games, with a very tough schedule within our division and out West. We saw the Angels six times, and they've always been very tough on the Yankees. We've played pretty well. You just want to continue to play at this pace."

White Sox: Konerko on a hot streak
The White Sox snapped a six-game road losing streak on Thursday thanks to the continued hot streak of first baseman Paul Konerko. The veteran mashed two home runs against the Rangers, giving him the most (10) in the Major Leagues. Four of those homers have tied the game or given Chicago a lead, and on Thursday, his second home run stood as the difference.

"Guys really competed," Konerko said of the last series. "Things obviously haven't been going well for us. We had a good weekend but lost the first two here. Everyone dug down the whole game, even early in the game. It's one of those day games, kind of beat and [could] go either way, and guys stepped up. It was nice to see, and we got a nice win before we play a tough Yankee team."

Yankees: Pettitte thrives in April
Pettitte is quite used to getting out to a fast start, and he's won more games in April (29) than any other pitcher in franchise history. The left-hander is 29-15 in the season's opening month, and he's bidding to go undefeated through April for the first time since 1997. He has a 1.29 ERA so far this season, the lowest he's ever had through four starts.

Pettitte has gone eight innings in each of his last two starts, and he's completed six innings in all four of his outings. He's given up a grand total of four runs so far and has yet to allow a home run in 28 innings of work. The 37-year-old left his season debut with the score tied, but he's had a three-run lead upon exiting each of his last three starts.

Thursday's win allowed New York to leapfrog Minnesota for the third-best record in baseball. And despite the fact that they've won seven of their last 11 and 12 of their last 17, the Yankees still trail the Rays by 2.5 games.

"It's obviously way too early to look at that," Girardi said. "Early in the season, if you have a streak of eight out of 10, it changes everything. That's what teams go through. It's amazing what a good homestand can really do for a club."

Worth noting
The White Sox went into Thursday's game ranked last in the Major Leagues in batting average (.221) and on-base percentage (.306). ... Gordon Beckham broke a 4-for-34 slide with a double on Thursday. He singled later in the game. ... Chicago leads the American League with 25 stolen bases this season. ... Andruw Jones -- who has already passed Johnny Bench (389) and Graig Nettles (390) this season -- is two home runs away from tying Joe Carter (396) for 49th place all-time. ... Jorge Posada sat out Thursday's game after being hit by a pitch in the right knee on Wednesday night.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.