Thursday, July 24, 2014
Series preview: White Sox at Twins
By Doug Padilla
The last time the Chicago White Sox rolled into the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Twins, they limped out in the midst of their worst losing stretch of the season.
The White Sox were just 4 1/2 games out of first place on June 19 when they arrived at Target Field. Then were then swept in a four-game series, saw the losing streak extend to five games at Baltimore, and after a victory over the Orioles, they lost the next two games.
Things turned around to end a series at Toronto, but the White Sox started their longest road trip of the season with a 1-7 record, and by June 26, they were 9 1/2 games out of first place. They currently stand 10 back at 48-54.
Going back to a four-game losing streak June 12-15, the sweep by the Twins came in the middle of a stretch where the White Sox lost 12 times in a span of 15 games.
In that June 19-22 four-game sweep at the hand of the Twins, all the games were competitive. The White Sox lost three games by one run and one game by just two runs.
That series helps to magnify how competitive White Sox games have been this season. Out of the 102 games the White Sox have played this season, 64 have been decided by three runs or less, the most recent coming Wednesday when they were beaten 2-1 by the Kansas City Royals.
The White Sox are 30-34 in those games decided by three runs or less, going 19-17 in one-run games, 7-10 in two-run games and 4-7 in three-run contests. Since 2012, the White Sox are 69-73 in games decided by a single run.
HEAD TO HEAD
While the White Sox's Gordon Beckham is just 2-for-17 (.118) against Twins starter Phil Hughes, Moises Sierra is bating a robust 8-for-16 (.500). ... The White Sox's Dayan Viciedo is 6-for-11 (.545) with a home run against Twins starter Kevin Correia. ... Twins starter Yohan Pino made his major league debut at age 30 on June 19 against the White Sox, giving up two runs on five hits over seven innings in a no-decision. ... The Twins' Kendrys Morales is 3-for-7 (.429) with a home run against White Sox starter Hector Noesi. ... Joe Mauer is 22-for-56 (.393) with eight RBIs against White Sox starter John Danks, while striking out eight times. ... In 10 starts against the Twins over the past three seasons, White Sox starter Chris Sale is 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA and has 37 strikeouts in 38 innings. ... White Sox starter Scott Carroll has just one appearance against the Twins, an impressive 3 2/3-inning relief outing where he gave up two hits and no runs.
Viciedo was a late scratch from Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals with hamstring tightness and is day-to-day. ... Over the White Sox's past 18 games, 12 have been decided by three runs or less and they are 5-7 in those contests. ... The White Sox's Jose Abreu is batting .377 (20-for-53) during his current hitting streak and has a hit in 31 of his last 32 games, going 0-for-4 in a July 5 home game against the Seattle Mariners. ... Adam Eaton had a nine-game hitting streak come to an end in Wednesday's game against the Royals. … The White Sox's Adam Dunn has recorded an RBI in three consecutive games, the fourth time he has done that this season. ... The White Sox's Tyler Flowers is 9-for-15 (.600) with four doubles and three RBIs over his last five games. ... The Twins are undecided for their starter on Saturday, but it could be Kyle Gibson (8-8, 4.19), who missed his last outing with back stiffness. ... The All-Star Game host Twins were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays to start the second half, but are coming off a 2-1 series victory over the Cleveland Indians. ... While White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson attends Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Frank Thomas and Tony La Russa this weekend, Steve Stone will share the booth with Tom Paciorek.
Thursday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (4-5, 4.55 ERA) vs. Twins RH Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05), 7:10 p.m. CST
Friday: White Sox LH John Danks (8-6, 4.35) vs. Twins RH Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76), 7:10 p.m. CST
Saturday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) vs. TBA, 6:10 p.m. CST
Sunday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.520 vs. Twins RH Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.63), 1:10 p.m. CST