Chicago (24-23) at Minnesota (26-25)

Fog Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Wed May 30, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With their offense heating up, the Minnesota Twins are quickly regaining their dominance at the Metrodome.

The Twins look for their first home sweep since the start of the season as they wrap up a three-game set with AL Central rival Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Minnesota (26-25), which led the majors with a 54-27 home record last season, had lost 13 of its first 21 games at the Metrodome in 2007, averaging just 3.6 runs in those games. Since May 13, though, the Twins have won five of six at home, averaging 8.5 runs.

Minnesota defeated the White Sox 10-4 in Monday’s series opener, and 9-2 on Tuesday to move over .500 for the first time since May 9.

The Twins haven’t swept a three-game series over Chicago (24-23) at home since Sept. 14-16, 2004, and haven’t swept a series at the Metrodome since taking three from Baltimore to open the season April 2-4.

“We’re starting to turn it around,” Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said. “All cylinders are clicking. Man, that’d be big if we can sweep (Wednesday). You’re talking about the Chicago White Sox.”

Reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer have been instrumental in Minnesota’s recent turnaround at home.

Morneau homered and drove in four runs on Tuesday, and is batting .423 (11-for-26) with two home runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs in his last six home games. He had hit just .232 with 14 RBIs in his first 22 games at the Metrodome.

Cuddyer had three hits and scored three times on Tuesday, and is batting .542 (13-for-24) with three homers and 12 RBIs in his last six home games, after hitting .263 with one home run and nine RBIs in his first 19.

Cuddyer is 8-for-27 (.296) with two home runs and a double lifetime against White Sox starter Jon Garland (3-3, 3.43 ERA), who is no stranger to pitching at the Metrodome.

Garland has faced the Twins 10 times since the start of the 2004 season, with nine of those games in Minnesota. The White Sox are 7-2 at the Metrodome with Garland on the mound in that span.

In his three starts in Minnesota last season, the right-hander went 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA.

Garland is trying to bounce back from his first defeat of the month, giving up four runs and a season-high 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-0 loss to Oakland on May 23. He went 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his first three starts of May.

The White Sox (24-23) have lost three straight and four of five, and a loss in this game would knock them back to .500 for the first time since May 9.

“Since we’ve been here, we’ve played real poorly,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “They’ve done the opposite. They’ve outplayed us right now.”

Minnesota’s Scott Baker (1-0, 3.29) makes his third start of the season on Wednesday.

After allowing two runs in 8 1-3 innings in defeating NL Central-leading Milwaukee on May 19, Baker didn’t factor in the decision in his second start, giving up three runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-3 win over Toronto on Friday.

In his only start against the White Sox last season, the right-hander was reached for five runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 7-3 loss on May 15.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Garland Col vs. S. Baker LAD
10-13 Record 9-9
4.23 ERA 4.26
98 K 102
57 BB 29
1.32 WHIP 1.33


Wednesday, May 30