CHICAGO — Ivan Nova attracted headlines for all the right reasons this time.
He set aside any worries he had about a
Major League Baseball investigation and earned his first career win,
Marcus Thames hit another homer and the New York Yankees beat the
Chicago White Sox 2-1 on Sunday.
It was an impressive outing for Nova
(1-0), who allowed one run and five hits with seven strikeouts and one
walk in 5 2/3 innings.
"(We're) asking a young man to step up and that's exactly what he's doing," manager Joe Girardi said.
He outpitched Gavin Floyd (9-11) in
his second start, a day after reports surfaced that the league is
investigating him and a former minor league teammate for allegedly
injecting each other with B-12 shots.
The vitamin is not on baseball's list of banned substances.
MLB is focused on the issue of whether
Nova and pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa injected each other last season at
Double-A Trenton and wants to make certain the shots were in fact B-12.
The New York Post first reported the story.
Nova wouldn't discuss the investigation, although he did say "it's nice" to get the win after the reports the previous day.
He said he spoke to relatives on Saturday, and they told him to relax, to "pitch like I was in Triple-A."
"I said, 'OK,'" Nova said.
Then, he followed their advice.
"He's a tough guy. He's always been the same way, he's relaxed," catcher Francisco Cervelli said.
Thames led off the second with his
fifth homer in five games and ninth overall, and Brett Gardner singled
in a run in the third to make it 2-0. Cervelli chipped in with a
career-high four hits and the Yankees hung on to take two of three from
the White Sox.
The loss was the ninth in 14 games for Chicago, which retired Frank Thomas' number and then wasted a solid effort by Floyd.
Ozzie Guillen also got ejected for
the fifth time this season by first base umpire Bob Davidson in the
ninth for calling Brett Gardner safe on what the manager thought should
have been a double play.
"I was tired of seeing that all weekend," Guillen said.
The losses are getting tiresome, too.
"We know what time it is," Gordon Beckham said. "September is around the corner and we have to make a push."
They got an RBI single from Juan Pierre in the fifth but left the bases loaded in the sixth.
Nova left with a runner on first and
two outs after retiring Andruw Jones on a fly to center, and things got
real interesting after that.
Former White Sox pitcher Boone Logan
came in, and A.J. Pierzynski reached on a slow roller down the third
base line that was ruled a hit after the throw from Eduardo Nunez pulled
Nick Swisher off the bag.
Kerry Wood then threw a wild pitch to
Alexei Ramirez and walked him to load the bases before Mark Teahen
grounded out to end the threat.
Joba Chamberlain allowed one hit over
1 1/3 scoreless innings. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 27th
save in 29 chances, walking Gordon Beckham with one out before Pierre
forced him and Omar Vizquel fouled to the catcher.
Floyd allowed two runs and seven hits
over 6 2/3 innings. He left after giving up a two-out walk to Nunez and
single by Cervelli, before Chris Sale struck out Gardner.
The Yankees threatened to add to
their lead in the eighth but came away empty-handed when Bobby Jenks
retired Austin Kearns on a force with the bases loaded.
Thames, who went deep twice on Saturday, started the second by driving a 2-2 pitch from Floyd beyond the left-field bullpen.
"I'm a power guy," Thames said. "And
it's big for power guys – you have to get into a rhythm to get some
stuff going. But I know my role, so I don't need to start putting
pressure on myself. I'm just glad if I hit the ball hard every time I
get a chance."
A fan seated near the
first-base dugout got struck in the head by a line-drive foul by New
York's Curtis Granderson leading off the seventh. He was tended to for
several minutes before walking away, still apparently woozy, holding a
bandage. The White Sox had no further information afterward. … Yankees
1B Mark Teixeira is day to day after he was scratched from the lineup
because of a bruised right thumb. He hurt it making a diving stop on
Friday and left Saturday's game after two innings. He said it was "maybe
a little better but not much." … Lance Berkman, out with a sprained
right ankle, was headed to Double-A Trenton for two rehab games starting