Chicago (36-41) at Minnesota (41-35)

Mostly Sunny Currently: Minneapolis, MN, US
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 26, 2003
  • TV: FSCH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

For much of the season, the Chicago White Sox and pitcher Mark Buehrle have performed below expectations.

Buehrle and the White sox look to begin turning it around as they face the Minnesota Twins in the finale of their series at the Metrodome.

The left-hander won his second straight start Saturday after nine consecutive losses, allowing four runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings of a 7-6 win at Wrigley Field.

A series win is important for the Sox—they are 3-5 against the Twins so far this season—and Buehrle thinks his team still has a shot at the AL Central title.

“It’s early still,” Buehrle said. “We’re not even to the All-Star break. If we keep playing like we’ve been the last 10-to-15 games, we’ll be okay.”

Minnesota bounced back from its 2-1 loss in Tuesday’s series opener, as its bullpen tossed 7 2-3 innings of scoreless relief, and Jacque Jones hit a game-winning home run off White Sox closer Billy Koch in the 11th inning to give the struggling Twins a 6-5 victory Wednesday night.

“We needed a win,” said manager Ron Gardenhire, who removed starter Joe Mays in a five-run fourth and then watched Juan Rincon, Johan Santana, LaTroy Hawkins and Eddie Guardado keep the White Sox from scoring while his team rallied from a 5-1 deficit.

“If we let it get any more than that, it was going to be over with,” Gardenhire said. “So we made a move a little early for the pitcher’s liking.”

Jones—who started the day in a 1-for-14 slump and was batting .222 in June—went 3-for-6 with three RBIs for the Twins, who had lost eight of 10.

STANDINGS: White Sox - 3rd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL Central. Twins - 1st place (tied), AL Central.

WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Buehrle (4-10, 4.90 ERA). The left-hander is 7-4 with a 4.86 ERA in 13 career starts against the Twins.

TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Radke (5-6, 5.74 ERA). After winning four straight starts from April 30-May 16, Radke is winless in his last five. In his last outing, Radke allowed just two runs and six hits over seven innings, but didn’t figure in the team’s 3-2 loss at Milwaukee on Friday night. In 21 career starts against the Twins, Radke is 10-8 with a 4.21 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - Magglio Ordonez, .276 avg. and 38 runs; Frank Thomas, 16 HRs; Lee, 43 RBIs and 7 SBs. Twins - Doug Mientkiewicz, .306 avg.; Corey Koskie, 11 HRs and 48 RBIs; Jones, 46 runs; Jones and Koskie, 6 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Twins, 5-3.

STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - OF Ordonez is hitting .475 (19-47) with two home runs and seven RBIs in his career RHP Radke. … LHP Buehrle entered this season with a 4-2 record and a 4.09 ERA at the Metrodome, but was tagged for a career-worst nine earned runs on 10 hits in less than four innings in an 18-3 defeat at Minnesota on May 16. … SS Valentin is 7-for-34 in his career against RHP Radke. Twins - OF Bobby Kielty is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with a homer and eight RBIs in his career against LHP Buehrle. … Chicago ranks second in the AL with 47 quality starts. … The White Sox franchise actually spent five years in the Twin Cities. Charles Comiskey bought the Sioux City team in the Western League and moved it to St. Paul (nickname: Saints) in 1895 before bringing it to Chicago in 1900, when it became known as the White Sox for the launch of the American League.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 15-24 on the road; Twins - 19-18 at home.

INJURIES: White Sox - LHP Kelly Wunsch (side), 15-day DL. Twins - INF Chris Gomez (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 60-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (knee), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Buehrle TOR vs. B. Radke MIN
14-14 Record 14-10
4.14 ERA 4.49
119 K 120
61 BB 28
1.35 WHIP 1.27