Chicago (24-22) at Minnesota (25-25)

  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue May 29, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Although it has been a disappointing first two months of the season for both the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins, an effective young starter has emerged for each club.

Chicago sends rookie John Danks to the mound against Twins right-hander Boof Bonser on Tuesday night as the AL Central rivals continue their three-game series at the Metrodome.

Danks (3-4, 3.78 ERA) has rebounded from a slow start to his major league career to become arguably Chicago’s (24-22) best starter lately.

The 22-year-old left-hander has won three straight starts, allowing only four earned runs and 17 hits in 18 2-3 innings while walking seven and striking out 12 in those outings.

In his last start, he limited Oakland to one earned run over six innings in a 10-4 victory on May 22.

Danks has pitched well in two starts against Minnesota, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He worked six strong innings in a 6-3 win at the Metrodome on May 9.

While the rest of Minnesota’s rotation has struggled behind ace Johan Santana, Bonser (3-1, 3.88) is quickly developing into a solid No. 2 starter.

Bonser, who is 3-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his last six starts, could easily have more than three wins had he received better run support. The Twins (25-25) have scored two runs or fewer in half of his 10 outings.

The 25-year-old right-hander was a 5-3 winner Wednesday at Texas, yielding two runs in five innings with six strikeouts.

Minnesota rallied for a 10-4 victory in Monday’s series opener, as Mike Redmond’s bases-clearing double capped a five-run sixth inning.

The Twins have won five of six, averaging 6.3 runs in that span. They are .500 for the first time since they were 17-17 after play on May 10.

“We’re pitching, we’re hitting and we’ve had good defense, so that’s always good,” Santana said. “Now, we have to take advantage of that, and hopefully, keep doing it that way.”

The game’s intensity level rose after former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski possibly spiked Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau while running out a double play to end the top of the sixth.

“I guess (A.J.) woke up a sleeping dog, and you don’t want to do that,” Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said. “But, A.J., I don’t think he meant anything by it.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire stormed out of the dugout before the White Sox took the field and yelled at the umpires for about a minute. The manager said after the game that he was upset at first-base umpire John Gibson for telling the Twins’ dugout to stop talking to Pierzynski.

Gardenhire spoke with Pierzynski after the game and cleared up any misunderstanding.

“I met with A.J. and it’s over with,” he said. “He explained it to me and that’s good enough for me.”

The White Sox allowed double digits in runs for the second straight game following Sunday’s 11-5 loss to Tampa Bay.

“Most of the damage was with two outs and two strikes. Everything started right there,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We couldn’t complete the inning and that’s the reason they won the game.”

Although Chicago ranks last in the AL in batting average (.235) and runs scored (192), it has seen improvement lately. The White Sox are averaging 6.0 runs over their last seven games and have at least 10 hits in six of the past eight contests.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Danks CWS vs. B. Bonser CLE
6-13 Record 8-12
5.50 ERA 5.10
109 K 136
54 BB 65
1.54 WHIP 1.53


Tuesday, May 29