White Sox-Twins Preview

On and off the field, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins

have done plenty of interacting over the last week.

The White Sox look to win their sixth straight against the Twins

on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Target

Field.

Chicago swept Minnesota at home last week as it climbed back

atop the AL Central, but while the teams went their separate ways

over the weekend, the White Sox (55-46) made a deal behind the

scenes to add Francisco Liriano to the rotation Saturday – the

first trade between the division rivals since 1986.

Liriano is scheduled to face his former team Tuesday.

The White Sox’s sweep of Minnesota last week came after being

swept in three games at Detroit. They head into Minnesota looking

to bounce back again after losing 2-0 to Texas on Sunday.

Chicago won the first two games of the series against the

Rangers, but didn’t provide any help Sunday for starter Gavin

Floyd, who gave up two runs – one earned – while pitching into the

seventh. The team went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring

position.

“Again, you can’t hang your hat, taking two of three from one of

the best teams, if not the best team in the American League, at

home,” Adam Dunn told the White Sox’s official website. “We

definitely wanted to come in and sweep them, but we’re still

playing very well. A couple of mental things, but we had our

chances. We couldn’t capitalize.”

The offense has had little trouble against the Twins, averaging

6.8 runs while winning seven of nine. Alex Rios has homered six

times in those nine games and Paul Konerko has gone deep four times

while batting .517 (15 for 29) in the season series.

Chicago also expects to have catcher A.J. Pierzynski back after

he missed his fifth straight game Sunday with a strained

oblique.

Minnesota (43-58) recovered from its series in Chicago by

sweeping Cleveland, closing the three-game series with a 5-1

victory Sunday.

Brian Duensing, making a spot start in place of Liriano, pitched

six strong innings and Justin Morneau had a two-run homer among his

three hits.

The Twins outscored the Indians 28-6 in the series, a nice

turnaround after giving up 26 to the White Sox.

“Definitely a good feeling, coming out of Chicago where we just

got swept,” Denard Span said. “It starts with starting pitching.

They give us an opportunity offensively to do some things. We can

be aggressive on the base paths.”

Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.58 ERA) and Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.64) will

face off for the second time in less than a week Monday.

De Vries gave up two runs – one earned – in six innings against

the White Sox last Tuesday, but his bullpen failed to protect the

lead in an 11-4 loss. Chicago’s hitters bailed out Quintana, who

gave up two homers to Josh Willingham and four runs overall in 6

1-3 innings.

Willingham, who leads the Twins with 27 homers, has four in his

last five games but is 4 for 33 against Chicago this season.

The White Sox haven’t won six in a row during one season versus

the Twins since 2003.