Chicago (64-68) at Minnesota (66-65)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 14° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 1, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ozzie Guillen referred to the Metrodome as a funeral home last week, and it appears the stadium will be where the Chicago White Sox’s season essentially ends.

The Minnesota Twins look to continue their climb up the AL Central and win their sixth straight at home against the fading White Sox, who seem to have given up on chasing a second straight division title.

Following a 4-1 loss to the surging Twins (66-65) on Monday, the White Sox (64-68) traded veteran slugger Jim Thome(notes) to the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitcher Jose Contreras(notes) to Colorado.

Thome came to Chicago from Philadelphia in 2006 and hit 134 home runs with the White Sox to move into 12th place on the all-time list with 564. Thome, second on the team with 74 RBIs and tied for second with 23 home runs this season, was dealt for minor league infielder Justin Fuller.

Chicago acquired Triple-A pitcher Brandon Hynick and cash for Contreras, who won a World Series ring with the team in 2005 but was 5-13 with a 5.42 ERA in 21 starts this year.

With nine losses in 11 games and a 1-7 mark on their current road trip that has dropped them six games behind first-place Detroit, the White Sox essentially waved the white flag with the trades.

Poor play at the Metrodome is one reason why a return trip to the playoffs seems highly unlikely for Chicago, which is 5-8 this season against the Twins, including 1-6 at the Metrodome.

Minnesota has won 15 of the last 17 home meetings between the teams and has moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox in the Central.

“Every game we can get is huge for us,” said Nick Blackburn(notes), who won Monday for the first time since July 10. “Especially to beat these guys tonight. As long as we can keep putting them further behind us, the better it is.”

It’s the closest the Twins, winners of 10 of 13, have been to the top of the division since Aug. 5 when they were also 3 1/2 out. Jason Kubel(notes) and Joe Mauer(notes) homered in Monday’s victory.

Chicago has been outscored 27-6 in the last four games of this trip while hitting .189.

“It seems like we can’t get anything going. It seems like a dead team,” Guillen said before the trades went down. “Maybe because obviously when you’re not hitting, the team looks dead. I don’t see any energy.”

The White Sox will hand the ball to the only pitcher who has had success during this rough stretch as John Danks(notes) (12-8, 3.82 ERA) seeks his fourth straight win Tuesday. He’s recorded Chicago’s only two wins in the last 11 games.

Danks, who has a 1.95 ERA in his last four starts, pitched six innings at Boston on Thursday and allowed two runs on two solo homers in a 9-5 victory.

The left-hander is 4-4 with a 5.11 ERA against the Twins. He’s 1-1 against them this season, with the White Sox losing both of his outings at the Metrodome.

Jeff Manship(notes) (0-0, 5.14) makes his sixth career appearance and first major league start for Minnesota.

The right-hander has pitched seven innings of relief for the Twins and has allowed four runs and eight hits in his last 4 1-3 innings. As a starter with Triple-A Rochester, the 24-year-old was 4-2 with a 3.22 ERA.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Danks CWS vs. J. Manship CLE
13-11 Record 1-1
3.77 ERA 5.68
149 K 21
73 BB 15
1.28 WHIP 1.71


Tuesday, Sep 1