White Sox-Twins preview
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins will attempt to avoid the history books on Thursday when they open a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field.
The Twins enter riding a 13-game losing streak, one shy of the franchise mark set in 1982. Their current skid is tied with the 1961 club for the second-longest streak in team history.
Minnesota finished the month of August 9-19 after a 15-11 mark in July.
“It's been a long week,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We need to try to find a way to win a game at some point to just lighten the load. It's getting heavy. Guys are getting on the edge a little bit. You can feel it. It's building.”
Chicago will also try and rebound after being swept in a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
The three-game skid dropped the White Sox to 8 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot and 13 games back of division-leading Cleveland, which capped a three-game sweep of Minnesota.
“It's tough. We were playing pretty good baseball but these guys, they've been snipping us off at the end,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. “We played fairly well early on but with the lineup they have, it's a pretty deep lineup that's hard to contain.”
Jose Quintana will try for his ninth consecutive quality start. The left-hander allowed just one earned run in 7 2/3 innings his last time out in a win over the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday.
Quintana has faced the Twins more than any other opponent this season; Thursday's game marks his fifth start against Minnesota in 2016. In four previous outings, Quintana is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings pitched. His 2.77 ERA for the season leads the American League.
Ervin Santana will get the nod for the Twins, coming off his worst start since the end of May. The right-hander allowed six runs on five hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings but did not figure into the final decision against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at Rogers Centre.
Prior to Saturday's clunker, Santana has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight starts dating back to June 14. Santana is 1-2 against the White Sox this season but has pitched well in those games, compiling a 3.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings.