Melky Cabrera is enjoying a sizzling 10-game stretch that New York Yankees starter Ivan Nova doesn't figure to be likely to slow down.
Cabrera has dominated Nova in past matchups and will try to help the White Sox capture a third straight series Sunday in Chicago.
The left fielder has been a major catalyst to this 8-2 stretch for Chicago (50-52), going 21 for 42 with three homers, 15 RBIs, 12 runs and a 1.486 OPS. His three-run homer keyed Saturday's 8-2 victory that evened this three-game set.
"He's been hot," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's been in the middle of a lot of it."
Cabrera is 6 for 9 with two homers, a double and a walk against Nova (3-3, 3.38 ERA) for his highest average versus any pitcher against which he has at least 10 plate appearances. These two haven't faced each other since 2013 with Nova missing most of last year after right elbow surgery.
Nova is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in five career starts against the White Sox. He has faced Alexei Ramirez the most among Chicago hitters, with the shortstop going 3 for 14.
The right-hander has yielded four runs over 11 innings in earning consecutive victories. His last streak of three in a row was a five-start run in 2012.
He'll try to help avoid an early call to the bullpen after Yankees relievers had to log 25 1-3 innings in six games this week, including 7 1-3 innings in this series while yielding seven runs. Spot starter Bryan Mitchell was charged with four runs Saturday and gave up a homer to Ramirez.
"Some of the other guys didn't throw (Saturday) so we should be fine," manager Joe Girardi said.
Chicago will start someone whom many believed wouldn't be on the team anymore in Jeff Samardzija (8-5, 3.94), who was the subject of trade rumors.
"You go out and do your job every fifth day, and those things you can't control you don't worry about it," he told MLB's official website. "So nothing changes for me."
The right-hander seeks his first career three-start win streak after pitching eight effective innings in wins at Cleveland on July 23 and Boston five days later. He was staked to five-run leads both times.
Samardzija pitched seven scoreless innings versus the Yankees (58-45) in his lone start against them for the Chicago Cubs last May 21. Carlos Beltran is 5 for 14 with a homer against him and Chase Headley is 4 for 11.
Beltran is expected back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday with a sore left foot. Girardi also plans to give catcher Brian McCann, who homered off the bench, his first start in this series.
The White Sox successfully cooled off Mark Teixeira, limiting the slugger to three hitless at-bats with a walk. Teixeira entered off consecutive two-homer efforts; his woes were part of an 0-for-16 showing with eight strikeouts for the top five hitters in the Yankees batting order.
Chicago's Jose Abreu is batting .378 with four homers and 16 RBIs in a 12-game hitting streak as he gets ready for his first look at Nova.
These teams have the AL's best records since June 30, with Chicago 19-10 and New York 17-10.