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Sox, Needing Victory, Face Yankees Rookie Ivan Nova

(Sports Network) - U.S. Cellular Field is the site of this afternoon's rubber match of a three-game series between the hometown White Sox and visiting New York Yankees.

Ivan Nova will make his second Major League start today against Chicago, and Yankees fans were likely impressed with what they saw on Monday in the debut. Nova, a 23-year-old fireballer, allowed two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings and didn't figure in the decision against Toronto. At 6-foot-4 with a high-90s fastball, Nova is a top-level prospect.

Slated to oppose Nova will be Gavin Floyd, who has posted a 9-10 record with a 3.91 ERA to date. Floyd is 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA at home, and he is coming off a home victory over the Orioles on Tuesday. Today's game marks Floyd's 27th start of the season.

Floyd doesn't have much of a track record against the Yankees, as he owns a 1-0 record with a 4.94 ERA in four career appearances against New York.

Rookie Eduardo Nunez hit his first career home run and drove in a total of four runs yesterday, as the Yankees outlasted the White Sox, 12-9.

Marcus Thames homered twice for the Yankees, who remained tied atop the American League East standings with the Rays, who defeated the Red Sox on Saturday. Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer and knocked in a total of three runs.

CC Sabathia (18-5) went seven innings in the start, allowing five runs on nine hits to pick up his fifth straight win and MLB-best 18th victory. The left- hander also struck out nine and walked one.

"The guys did a great job of keeping us in the game," said Sabathia. "I tried to give it up, but they backed me up and kept scoring runs and we were able to pull out the win."

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira left the game in the top of the third with a bruised right thumb and is considered day-to-day.

Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Andruw Jones each homered for the White Sox, who now sit 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central standings after the Twins beat the Mariners on Saturday.

John Danks (12-9) lasted just 4 1/3 frames, giving up eight runs on six hits to suffer the loss. He also fanned five batters and walked four.

"The fact is that we need to win more games than the Twins," said Danks. "We have plenty of time to make up the games we need, but I need to pitch better and help the other guys carry the load."

New York took two of three games from Chicago in the Bronx earlier this season, but lost three of four to the Sox in its lone visit to U.S. Cellular Field in 2009.