Chicago’s rebuilding will not have any impact on how he goes about his business and the veteran right-hander will be on the mound Thursday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
After pitching effectively against the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend, the veteran right-hander said he “frankly (doesn’t) care about the White Sox’ current rebuilding process.
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“I care about winning,” Shields said. “They keep talking about rebuild, and I’m trying to win ballgames right now, period.”
Shields held Milwaukee to three solo home runs over seven-plus innings in Chicago’s 5-0 loss. It marked his fourth consecutive quality start and his eighth straight outing of six innings or more.
But during that stretch, the White Sox have provided little help. They have scored no more than a run in any of his last six starts and Shields is 0-6 with a 4.35 ERA over his last 12 appearances (11 starts).
“You know, it’s been a tough go this first couple of months of the season,” Shields said. “As a pitcher, you have to keep going out there and grinding and try to get the best results you can possibly get.”
Manager Rick Renteria has lauded Shields’ leadership with a young rotation and Shields ability to eat innings — something Chicago starters are struggling with this season.
“That’s what I’ve prided myself on my whole career is going deep in the game,” Shields said. “I’m 36 years old, almost 37, and I’m still trying to get that 200-plus innings every year. Body feels great. Just wish we could get some more W’s.
“That’s the disappointing part about this whole thing right now is not being able to get W’s. I don’t like losing; I’m not a big fan of it.”
Shields will be going for his win since Opening Day and will be attempting to help Chicago win a second straight series.
Shields is 8-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 26 career starts against the Twins.
The White Sox are in position to win the series after Tim Anderson hit a tiebreaking two-run single in a four-run sixth inning and drove in three runs in a 5-2 win on Wednesday.
The Twins came into the series riding high after cutting three games of the Indians’ lead in the American League Central but have not looked good so far against the White Sox, who own the AL’s worst record.
Eddie Rosario, who hit three homers Sunday, is 2-for-13 in the series after going 0-for-5 Wednesday.
“They’ve outplayed us,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of the White Sox. “We talked about it. They’ve run aggressively, they’ve made more plays defensively. We had one good inning, in the first game yesterday.
“I try to be positive most times but that’s just not good baseball.”
Jose Berrios gets the start Thursday, looking to continue a good stretch. He has a 2.83 ERA over his last four starts, though he did give up four runs over six innings in Minnesota’s victory over Cleveland last Friday.
“I felt good,” Berrios said. “I thought I missed four pitches. The two hits in the third inning and then the sixth inning to Ramirez and (Edwin) Encarnacion. But I felt good about the rest of the game.”
Berrios is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against the White Sox this season. For his career, the right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA in six starts against Chicago.
Minnesota has dropped eight of its last 12 games and a rash of injuries have factored in but there is good news on the horizon.
First baseman Joe Mauer has been showing improvement in on-field workouts and could be headed for a minor league rehab assignment. Mauer has been out since May 18 with a strained neck and concussion-like symptoms.
“I think that’s possible,” Molitor said. “Of all the things that he’s tried to introduce himself to, in terms of stimulus and environment, playing a nine-inning game will be different than anything he’s done up to this point. So, I think it would make a lot of sense to have that as an option, to make sure that we don’t go backwards in some form.”
Mauer was batting .283 with a .404 on-base percentage in 38 games before the injury.