Twins-White Sox Preview
Mark Buehrle provided possibly the highlight of the season
Monday. There have been very few good ones for the Chicago White
Sox since then.
The team’s only winning pitcher looks to help the White Sox
avoid a fifth consecutive loss and their worst start in 15 years
Sunday as Buehrle tries to cool off the visiting Minnesota
Chicago’s season got off to a rousing start, with Buehrle
allowing three singles in seven innings of a 6-0 victory over
Cleveland. The play of the game was Buehrle – a 2009 Gold Glove
winner – deflecting a grounder off his foot, grabbing the ball with
his glove in foul territory and flipping it between his legs to
first base for the out.
“I take pride in fielding my position as good as I can,” Buehrle
Now he’ll be counted on to get the White Sox (1-4) out of their
funk. A loss Sunday would give the franchise its worst start since
opening 1-7 in 1995. During their four-game losing streak, they’ve
been held to 10 runs while batting .180 – 4 for 28 with runners in
“I think a lot of guys are pressing, a lot of guys are trying to
do too much,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I think I saw a couple
of guys try to hit the ball out of the ballpark when they should be
pleased and happy with a base hit. I think everybody wants to be a
Minnesota (5-1) is batting .238, but Jason Kubel hit the team’s
10th homer Saturday in a 2-1 win. Winners of five straight, the
Twins will match their longest win streak from last season with a
victory Sunday, as well as post their best record through seven
games since 1968.
“We’ve got some guys who can put it in the seats,” manager Ron
Gardenhire said. “We try to run around a little bit, but it’s
pretty easy when you hit it in the seats and you get to jog
Buehrle (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has served up 231 homers the last
nine-plus seasons, third-most in the majors.
He beat the Twins the first two times he faced them last year,
but was 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in his final four starts against them.
He’s 23-16 with a 4.09 ERA lifetime against Minnesota.
The left-hander has done well against Minnesota’s lefty-hitting
stars, holding Justin Morneau to a .196 average and Joe Mauer to
.229. Denard Span is 10 for 20 with two homers against Buehrle, but
he’s batting .125 in 2010.
No batter has faced Buehrle more than Twins right fielder
Michael Cuddyer, who is 26 for 83 (.313) against him. Cuddyer is 4
for 6 versus lefties this season.
Minnesota counters with Nick Blackburn (1-0, 4.05).
He carried his success from late last season into this year,
allowing three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-3 win over the Los
Angeles Angels on Tuesday. Including that effort, he’s 3-0 with a
2.12 ERA in his last five regular-season starts.
The right-hander has won his last four starts against the White
Sox, going seven innings each time and allowing a total of five
runs. He hasn’t surrendered a run in his last 14 innings at U.S.
Alexei Ramirez is 8 for 19 (.421) against Blackburn. A .283
hitter with 36 homers and 145 RBIs in two big-league seasons
entering 2010, Ramirez is 3 for 19 without an RBI.