The Yankees will honor former manager Joe Torre prior to Saturday afternoon's contest with the White Sox, presenting him with a plaque in Monument Park and retiring his No. 6 jersey to honor his 12 seasons piloting the club.
"He meant a lot to us as players and his leadership," said current manager Joe Girardi. "Enjoyed playing for him. Enjoyed working for him as his bench coach. And obviously learned a lot along the way."
"Whether a guy was playing or not playing, he had the ability to go in and calm the waters of sorts to get guys focused on the right stuff," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Torre. "Not too many people can do that."
Torre led each of his teams to the playoffs, but right now, Girardi is hoping his 2014 squad can remain relevant in the playoff race, three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot after Friday's walk-off win. The urgency to ignite a tepid August offense was obvious before Thursday's victory over the Astros, when position players held a meeting to spark their lackluster attack.
"I've said all along, these guys have worked hard and they're trying to figure it out," said Girardi. "They're going to do whatever it takes to try to get better and try to be more productive. I am all for that."
On Saturday, the Yankees will rely on Hiroki Kuroda to continue a nice streak of starting pitching, hoping for a strong follow-up to his best start of the month against the Rays when he allowed just two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Kuroda hasn't exceeded 100 pitches in his last three starts, and the Yankees are still cautious with the 39-year-old as the season winds down. Last season, he finished August and September with a 1-7 record and a 5.41 ERA.
"We have a month and a few days to go, so we know where the finish line is at this point," said Kuroda. "All I have to do is make sure I give everything and hopefully that last outing will be a good start."
He'll face righty Scott Carroll, who is coming off a blemished victory against the Blue Jays on Sunday, allowing five runs on eight hits and walking three. The rookie has had a frustrating August, allowing 16 earned runs over his three starts.
When Carroll takes the mound, he'll aim to end Chicago's six-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium and help the White Sox climb out of a season-high 10 games below .500.
Yankees: Beltran swings in prelude to return
Carlos Beltran resumed swinging the bat on Friday as the Yankees hope to have him available for their lineup as soon as Saturday.
"He hit toss and off the tee and he said he felt good," said manager Joe Girardi. "We're hoping that he's a player for us [Saturday]."
Beltran had a cortisone injection in his troublesome right elbow on Wednesday, his third cortisone shot of the year. This is likely a last-ditch effort to keep Beltran active; he has said that the elbow has a bone spur that will require surgery after the season.
White Sox: Prospect Sanchez recalled
Carlos Sanchez is getting an opportunity to be the White Sox primary second baseman. The White Sox recalled Sanchez, the club's No. 10 prospect, from Triple-A Charlotte on Friday to replace Gordon Beckham, who was traded to the Angels on Thursday.
"This is an opportunity for him that a lot of guys would be excited about," Ventura said. "I know he is and we'll see what happens from here on out. For a guy who has had a pretty impressive Minor League stretch, you give him the opportunity to let him go play. He has a lot of tools that are Major League ready."
Sanchez was hitting .293 with 19 doubles, 57 RBIs and 16 stolen bases at Triple-A while spending time at second base (64 games), shortstop (44) and third base (two).
He made his Major League debut with the White Sox on July 13, during a brief stint this season, but went 0-for-5 in a start at shortstop. On Friday, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored.
• Yankees pitchers have tossed nine shutouts in 2014, one shy of their total from 2013.
• Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run in the first inning Friday night for his 33rd of the season, while recording his 93rd RBI. He's hitting .370 with seven RBIs in his last seven games.
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.