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08/25/10 5:23 PM ET

Windy City Girardi's home, but he leads NY

The weekend series with the White Sox isn't what manager Joe Girardi is looking forward to in the Windy City. It's the chance to return home.

Girardi was born and raised in Peoria, Ill., attended college at Northwestern in nearby Evanston and started his professional career with the Cubs.

"I'll enjoy it," Girardi said. "I'll get to see my dad. I can't think of anything better to do than that. That will make my whole trip."

The trip to his hometown, though, will of course ignite the speculation that Girardi is a front-runner to take over as Cubs manager next season. Girardi said he will not discuss that job after Friday.

"It's just another thing you have to deal with," he said. "I understand people want to know what you're thinking, but my responsibility is here."

Girardi's squad will face a familiar foe in Freddy Garcia. Garcia is still looking for his first win in August, and he's trying to bounce back from three consecutive starts in which he's allowed more than three runs.

Garcia's past outing -- a no-decision against the Royals -- looks worse on paper than it did on the mound. The right-hander had allowed one run through six innings before loading the bases with two outs in the seventh. He was pulled for Sergio Santos, who promptly served up a grand slam to Yuniesky Betancourt.

"It seems like our bullpen doesn't like Freddy," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It seems like our heart has been broken the last couple of weeks, losing games late. Sometimes that's not easy to take."

Yankees: Burnett determined to get on track
A.J. Burnett will take the hill for the Bombers, hoping to rebound from a subpar performance versus the Mariners. Burnett allowed six runs on a career-high-tying 12 hits in a 6-0 loss to Felix Hernandez and Seattle.

Burnett has still not put together three straight quality starts all season, although he hasn't had two straight poor starts since the end of June.

"I'm not going to give up out there, no matter what happens," Burnett said. "At this point in the season, it's a matter of getting on track to get us to October. That's what I worry about in my next start."

White Sox: Club hot, waits on Manny
Chicago's offense has been streaking of late, collecting 10 or more hits in 11 of its past 12 games. That included a 10-consecutive-game streak with 10 or more hits, the first time the club has done so since a 13-game streak in 1997.

Whether that offense may receive a further boost in the form of Manny Ramirez, whom the Dodgers reportedly placed on waivers Wednesday, could be determined by Friday, when the 48-hour window for teams to claim the outfielder is up.

The 38-year-old is owed approximately $4.5 million, with about $3.3 million deferred, but a FOXSports report Thursday claimed Ramirez wanted a one-year extension to waive his no-trade clause.

""Whenever I've talked to [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf], it's less about money even though we are stretched right now," said general manager Ken Williams. "We are stretched, and quite frankly looking at walkups every day to see exactly what we're going to have available to us. But he certainly hasn't given me any reason to think there are any restrictions right now on dollars."

In-house, Juan Pierre has been leading the charge for Chicago with hits in 13 of his past 14 games. After a 12-game hit streak ended Wednesday, Pierre went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and his 50th stolen base Thursday in an 8-0 win over Baltimore.

Worth noting
Marcus Thames continues to rake at the plate against left-handers, notching a double and two-run homer off Brett Cecil on Wednesday night. Thames is now hitting .386 in August with three homers. ... The White Sox haven't won the season series from the Yankees since 2003. With three games left this weekend, New York holds a 2-1 advantage in 2010. ... The Yankees' last road series victory was July 26-29 in Cleveland. New York has lost series to Tampa Bay and Toronto around splits in Texas and Kansas City since then.

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


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