Preview: Twins at White Sox
Minnesota (12-17) has won back-to-back games for the first time since April after knocking off Chicago on Friday and Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Twins have won three of four after losing 11 of their previous 12.
A victory Sunday would give the Twins their first series win since April 9-11 against the Houston Astros.
Meanwhile, Chicago (9-22) will attempt to salvage a series split after taking Thursday’s opener on a walk-off home run by Trayce Thompson. The White Sox have lost six of seven and have gone 3-12 at home this season.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.38 ERA) will make his seventh start for the Twins. The 30-year-old Mizzou alum has proved to be one of the team’s more reliable starters, allowing two runs or fewer in four of his first six outings. He is averaging 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which is well above his career average of 6.4.
In 10 career starts against the White Sox, Gibson is 6-2 with a 2.26 ERA. He has walked 12 and fanned 57 in 67 2/3 innings.
Chicago will counter with veteran right-hander James Shields (1-3, 5.35 ERA), who is coming off his best start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals. Shields drew a no-decision despite limiting the Cardinals to one run on two hits in six innings. The 36-year-old is seeking his first victory since Opening Day on March 29 against the Kansas City Royals.
Shields is 8-9 with a 4.32 ERA in 24 career starts against the Twins. He faced the club three times last season, going 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA. He completed five innings in one start and six innings in two others.
Shields will face a hot hitter in Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and five RBIs in Saturday’s 8-4 victory. Rosario matched a career high with five RBIs and is hitting .274 with six home runs and 22 RBIs this season.
For the White Sox, shortstop Tim Anderson will look to maintain his hot bat after going 3-for-4 with a double and two solo home runs Saturday. Anderson is hitting .261 with six home runs and nine RBIs on the season.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is a .333 lifetime hitter against Shields with four home runs and 10 RBIs. Teammate Joe Mauer also has enjoyed success against Shields, hitting .298 with one homer and 10 RBIs.
Gibson has given up a home run to only one White Sox player, Jose Abreu. The Cuban slugger is hitting .240 with one homer and two RBIs in his career against the right-hander. No other Chicago player has more than three hits versus Gibson.
The Twins won last year’s season series 12-7 over the White Sox.