Minnesota (31-31) at Chicago (35-27)

Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Jun 8, 2008
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Hot-hitting Joe Crede is doing everything he can to make sure the Chicago White Sox don’t fall into another offensive slump.

Crede hopes to build on his latest hitting outburst and lead the surging White Sox to their sixth consecutive victory on Sunday when they continue their four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

Crede, batting .291 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs this season, had his best game of the year on Saturday, hitting two homers - a pair of three-run blasts - for the second straight night and finishing with a season-high six RBIs in an 11-2 White Sox (35-26) win.

The third baseman also went deep twice in Friday’s series-opening 10-6 triumph over Minnesota (31-31), and is 14-for-33 (.424) with four doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBIs in nine games against the Twins this season.

Crede has been hitting well against every opponent lately, batting .432 (16-for-37) with six homers and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games.

“I think the biggest thing to my approach at the plate is that I’m not trying to hit the ball into one certain spot or pulling it or hitting it the other way,” Crede told the team’s official Web site.

Crede’s hitting has been contagious with the White Sox batting .342 with 14 homers while collecting at least 11 hits in each contest during their five-game winning streak. This hot stretch was preceded by a four-game span in which they batted .254 and totaled just nine runs.

On Saturday, Orlando Cabrera drove in two runs and Paul Konerko hit his sixth career triple - his first since May 16, 2000 - while Nick Swisher finished with three of Chicago’s 16 hits, the second straight night they pounded out as many.

Though the AL Central-leading White Sox have built a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Twins, manager Ozzie Guillen is trying to keep his team focused.

“The baseball gods can get you when all of a sudden you get cocky,” Guillen said. “We’re playing good right now and swinging the bats the way we thought we were going to swing them.”

Chicago roughed up starter Livan Hernandez for seven runs in four innings, sending Minnesota to its sixth defeat in nine games.

“Every time we make mistakes right now, the ball goes flying,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s just not going our way right now.”

Gardenhire hopes Kevin Slowey (2-5, 3.76 ERA) can help the club avoid its first four-game skid since Sept. 12-16.

Slowey lost Tuesday after winning his previous two starts, giving up four runs and seven hits over six innings in a 5-3 home defeat to Baltimore.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in three appearances - two starts - against the White Sox. He lasted five innings against them on May 8, allowing three runs and four hits in a 6-2 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago’s Gavin Floyd (6-3, 3.15), meanwhile, aims to win three straight starts for the first time since April 30-May 11, 2006 with Philadelphia. On Tuesday, the right-hander gave up four runs - two earned - and six hits over seven innings in a 9-5 home win over Kansas City.

Floyd is 1-3 with a 4.56 ERA in four career starts versus the Twins, but fell two outs short of a no-hitter in a 7-1 home win against them on May 6.

He looks to lead the White Sox to their first seven-game home win streak since a 10-game run from April 15-May 4, 2006.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Slowey Phi vs. G. Floyd Cle
12-11 Record 17-8
3.99 ERA 3.84
123 K 145
24 BB 70
1.15 WHIP 1.26


Sunday, Jun 8