Chicago (72-72) at Minnesota (85-60)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Thu Sep 16, 2004
  • TV: WCIU, FSNO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The streaking Minnesota Twins look to inch closer to their third straight AL Central title as they shoot for a three-game sweep of the second-place Chicago White Sox at the Metrodome.

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.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Garland Col vs. K. Lohse Mil
12-11 Record 9-13
4.89 ERA 5.34
113 K 111
76 BB 76
1.38 WHIP 1.63