White Sox-Twins preview
MINNEAPOLIS -- James Shields will try to build on an encouraging outing his last time out when he takes the mound for the Chicago White Sox against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night at Target Field.
Shields allowed two runs on six hits and three walks in six innings of work against the Detroit Tigers on Monday but did not figure into the decision. Chicago eventually lost the game 4-3.
It was a marked improvement from his previous five starts in August when the right-hander went 0-4 with a 13.95 ERA, allowing 31 earned runs in just 20 innings of work.
Shields' time with the White Sox has been inconsistent: He allowed 21 earned runs in his first three trips to the mound after his trade in early June from San Diego, then had a 2.11 ERA in his next seven starts before his troubles in August.
The White Sox are hoping Monday's outing is the beginning of another uptick.
"As the game went on, I got a little more comfortable and made some pitches when I needed to," Shields told the Chicago Tribune after his last start. "I was really happy with the way I was throwing (my curveball) for strikes, getting ahead of hitters right away, throwing it early in the count for strikes."
Minnesota will send former White Sox starter Hector Santiago to the mound. Santiago will also be trying to follow up a quality start, his first with the Twins since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade on Aug. 1.
Santiago shutout the Cleveland Indians over 6 1/3 innings on Monday but did not get a win after Cleveland won 1-0 in extra innings. The left-hander walked four men but gave up just three hits.
"I think I pitched smart (on Monday) in a sense that I didn't give in to certain guys and made pitches when I needed to in big situations," Santiago told MLB.com. "This is what I want to do and what I know I can do. It's been rough the last couple weeks, but hopefully we're on the right road now."
Santiago had lost all four of his previous starts with the Twins, rolling up a 10.89 ERA in 19 innings pitched.
He went 8-10 with a 3.41 ERA over parts of three seasons with the White Sox from 2011-2013, the club that drafted him in the 30th round of the 2006 draft.
Santiago has been effective in limited action against his former club, going 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in three career starts against them when with the Angels.