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.