White Sox-Twins Preview

It’s been more than a year since the Chicago White Sox won two

straight games against the Minnesota Twins. It’s been much longer

since they’ve done it in the same season in the Twin Cities.

If the White Sox are to accomplish that feat, they likely need

to find a way to get the best of Carl Pavano on Saturday night at

Target Field.

Carlos Quentin homered twice and drove in four runs to help

Chicago (53-58) snap a six-game skid with a 5-3 win in Minnesota on

Friday.

“This is the White Sox up and down, unpredictable team,” manager

Ozzie Guillen said.

It was just the second victory over the Twins in the last 12

meetings for Guillen’s team. The White Sox are 5-18 in the series

since last taking two straight versus their AL Central rival last

April and May. Chicago, 4-8 at Target Field, has not won two

straight at Minnesota in the same season since Sept. 21-22,

2007.

Repeating that feat might not be easy against Pavano (6-8, 4.90

ERA), who has allowed three runs in 16 innings while going 2-0

against the White Sox this season. After tossing a complete game

versus Chicago at Target Field on June 16, Pavano allowed two runs

in seven innings at U.S. Cellular Field on July 7.

“He just seems to throw the ball well against us,” said Chicago

left fielder Juan Pierre, batting .360 versus Pavano. “He throws a

lot of strikes. Mixes it up. Doesn’t get in a pattern where you can

follow what he’s going to do.”

Pavano, however, has surrendered 23 runs and 33 hits over 22

innings while going 0-2 in four starts since the win at Chicago. He

surrendered seven runs and nine hits in four innings of a 7-3 loss

at Oakland on Sunday.

“I don’t even know where to start to tell you the truth,” Pavano

told the Twins’ official website.

Quentin is 0 for 17 with six strikeouts against Pavano, but all

three of his hits in his last 12 at-bats have left the park.

“Quentin is one of those guys that can run off five or six home

runs with the best of them,” Pierre said. “We’ll jump on his

shoulders when need be.”

The White Sox opted to push Jake Peavy’s start back to Sunday

and have called up right-hander Zach Stewart (0-1, 4.86) to make

his fourth career start in this contest.

Acquired from Toronto on July 27, Stewart is making his first

big-league appearance since allowing two runs in six innings and

not getting a decision in the Blue Jays’ 4-2 loss at Detroit on

June 27.

Stewart will likely face Twins slugger Jim Thome, who remains

two shy of 600 home runs after sitting Friday.

Thome, who hit 134 of his 598 homers in three-plus seasons with

the White Sox from 2006-2009, is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts

against his former team in 2011.

“I hope if he hits it, it’s not to win the game,” Guillen said.

“But I want to see it.”

Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer and had two of the five hits

Friday for the Twins (51-61), who have dropped two straight and

five of six.

“Not a good way to start it,” manager Ron Gardenhire said

Kubel is 7 for 17 (.412) with two home runs in his last four

games.