The Twins’ magic number to clinch the division is down to six following Wednesday’s 6-1 victory, the team’s fifth in a row over Chicago and seventh straight overall.
Minnesota, which holds a 12 1/2 -game lead over Chicago, has 17 games left, including four against the White Sox.
Chicago, which had a half-game lead atop the division at the All-Star break, last won the Central in 2000.
“You can kind of tell we’re out of the playoffs,” Chicago’s Mark Buehrle said. “But guys still want to win. I don’t want to go out and lose the rest of my starts.”
The Twins will give the ball to Kyle Lohse, who is 2-1 over his last five starts.
The 25-year-old right-hander didn’t receive a decision in the Twins’ 3-2 win at Detroit on Saturday, but pitched into the sixth inning for the first time in five starts. He gave up two runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings.
“It was nice to see the sixth inning,” Lohse said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been there.”
The White Sox, losers of three in a row and four of five, will counter with Jon Garland.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against the Twins this year, and comes in off a strong outing in Chicago’s 7-5 loss at Anaheim on Friday. He allowed two runs and five hits over 6 1-3 innings.