After a slow start, the Chicago White Sox have a chance to salvage a split of their eight-game road trip and climb over .500 as they wrap up a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
The White Sox (15-15), who are batting a major league-worst .223, were outscored 13-5 in losing two games at Seattle and the first of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. But Ozzie Guillen’s team has since regrouped to win three of four, including a 6-3 victory Wednesday as rookie John Danks notched his first major league victory.
“This kid’s been great. This kid should have a couple of more wins,” Guillen said of Danks, who gave up a run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings. “I love the way he’s handling himself on the mound.”
Paul Konerko had two hits and an RBI for the White Sox, and has raised his average 20 points to .209 by going 7-for-25 in his last five games. After batting .313 with 35 homers and 113 RBIs in 2006, Konerko has yet to hit safely in three consecutive games this season.
Jose Contreras (2-3, 4.88 ERA) will try to bounce back from a tough outing for the White Sox, who have not been over .500 since they were 12-11 on April 29. The right-hander didn’t help himself on Friday after committing a throwing error during a three-run second inning in a 5-1 loss to the Angels.
Contreras gave up four runs - one earned - over six innings, and is trying to end a three-start winless streak on the road. He is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in that stretch, giving up 11 runs - six earned - in 18 innings.
He won his only start against the Twins, limiting them to one run and five hits in eight innings of a 2-1 victory Sept. 18, 2005.
Minnesota (17-16) is in danger of falling to .500 for the first time all season, and will try to give Carlos Silva more run support than he’s received in his previous three starts at the Metrodome. Silva (2-2, 2.75) is 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA at home as the Twins have scored only two runs in those games.
“What I have to do is give the team the opportunity to win the game,” Silva said losing Friday despite limiting the Boston Red Sox to one run in seven innings of a 2-0 defeat. “Every time you’re able to do that, you’re going to be in a great spot.”
Silva is 4-7 with a 5.49 ERA in 13 starts and 15 lifetime appearances against the White Sox, and also failed to get any support in a road loss to them on April 7—he allowed one run in five innings of a 3-0 defeat.
Twins center fielder Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to a career-high 23 games with an eighth-inning infield single and moved into a tie for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. Only Ken Landreaux (31), Brian Harper (25) and Lenny Green (24) have had longer ones.
Hunter is hitting .372 (35-for-97) with five homers and 19 RBIs in his run - the longest active streak in the majors—but he is only 1-for-7 with two walks lifetime versus Contreras.
Minnesota has lost seven of its last 10 home games after a 6-3 start there.
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