White Sox-Twins Preview
Looking to snap a season-worst four-game losing streak, Pelfrey goes for his first win in four tries against visiting Chicago in the opener of a four-game set Thursday night.
The Twins (53-65) entered this year having dropped 22 of 28 to the White Sox (46-73), but they have beat up on the AL Central's worst team. Minnesota has averaged 5.3 runs in taking nine of 12 in the series, including three of four in Chicago last weekend.
Its only loss during that set came Saturday with Pelfrey (4-10, 5.32 ERA) on the hill. The right-hander allowed five runs and a season-high five walks in that 5-4 defeat, dropping to 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this year.
"Too many pitches early, again," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Pelfrey, who needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. "I think 47 pitches after two innings and it was going nowhere quick. It's not like he's not trying - we all know he's trying - but it's strike one and the next thing you know it's 3-2. ...The pace goes nowhere."
Pelfrey has just one victory since May 10, going 1-7 with a 4.95 ERA in his last 15 starts. Since winning his first two home outings, Pelfrey is 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA in nine appearances at Target Field.
"This game's all about consistency," he told MLB's official website. "I'm fed up with going out there and throwing 100 pitches in four innings or five innings, whatever it is. ... There's no other way to put it. I've been atrocious. Terrible.
"It's frustrating. But I've gotta look myself in the mirror. There's no one else to blame but myself. I've gotta turn this thing around."
Chicago, meanwhile, gives Andre Rienzo (0-0, 4.42) his fourth start since getting called up July 30. The right-hander allowed four runs, seven hits and five walks in 5 1-3 innings opposite Pelfrey over the weekend.
"Bad. It's bad," Rienzo, who has walked 11 in 18 1-3 innings, said of his control. "Seriously. It's really bad. Bad games make you work harder for the next time, and that game there will for sure make me work harder for the next one."
Rienzo will need to be careful against Justin Morneau, who hit a three-run homer off him Saturday. Morneau is batting .333 with four homers and 16 RBIs in his last 10 games in the series.
The Twins had won eight of 11 before suffering back-to-back losses to Cleveland, including a 9-8, 12-inning defeat Wednesday. Joe Mauer went 5 for 7 with a homer and four RBIs, but Minnesota blew a four-run lead in the eighth inning.
The White Sox, a major league-worst 7-29 on the road since May 18, will be trying to avoid a 10th straight loss away from home. They haven't dropped that many consecutive road contests since an 11-game skid Aug. 14-Sept. 1, 2007.
Chicago posted back-to-back wins over division-leading Detroit before falling 6-4 on Wednesday. Gordon Beckham had three of the team's 14 hits, but the White Sox went 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Ramirez is batting .392 with two homers and nine RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak. He has also hit safely in 10 straight versus Minnesota, going 18 for 45 (.400) with two homers.