Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/21/12

Through four innings Monday, Freddy Garcia looked like the same pitcher who had helped stabilize the New York Yankees' rotation for nearly two months since Andy Pettitte went down with a fractured leg.

After Garcia's bend-but-don't-break approach worked in the first two innings against the White Sox, the veteran right-hander settled in and retired six of seven batters in the third and fourth, doing what he needed to after being staked to a 3-0 lead.

Then came the fifth inning, and everything fell apart.

Garcia struck out Alexei Ramirez for the first out of the inning, matching his season high with eight strikeouts. That was the last out Garcia would record.

Gordon Beckham singled and Dewayne Wise homered, cutting the Yankees' lead to 3-2. Kevin Youkilis singled and Garcia walked both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, ending his night with the bases loaded and one out.

"I'm really disappointed; I couldn't throw strikes after I got one out in the fifth," Garcia said. "I couldn't make the pitch when I needed it. It's really frustrating for me. Something happened. I couldn't find the strike zone."

Garcia retreated to the dugout, where he watched three relievers allow all three of his runners to score to complete Chicago's five-run inning.

"He got out of some jams early; they had some runners on second with nobody out a couple times and he was able to get out of those jams," manager Joe Girardi said. "It just seemed that he either left his offspeed up or he wasn't able to throw it for strikes and they laid off it. That's what hurt him."

Garcia, who was 5-3 with a 3.69 ERA in his first nine starts after taking over for Pettitte on July 2, had pitched at least five innings in each of those outings, holding his opponent to three runs or fewer in eight of them.

"I had command of my fastball, my slider, my split," Garcia said. "At that point (through the fourth), I was really comfortable. Something happened and I could not find the zone. That's crazy but that's the way it is."

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