Thanks to some determined efforts from their pitching staff, the Chicago White Sox have trimmed a couple of games off their sizable AL Central deficit.
The White Sox (67-65) have allowed a total of five runs during a four-game winning streak which has trimmed their deficit from seven games to five behind division-leading Detroit. They now have a chance to match their season-best five-game run from earlier this month.
Chicago took advantage of another Tigers loss Monday night by allowing four hits in a 3-0 victory, also their fourth in a row over Minnesota (56-78).
Stewart (1-3, 4.76 ERA) will try to deliver the White Sox’s first five-game win streak over the Twins since 2008, but will likely need a better performance than in his last outing.
The 24-year-old Stewart gave up a career-worst seven runs and seven hits over six innings Wednesday in an 8-0 defeat to Los Angeles. He had pitched out of the bullpen in his previous two games but returned to the rotation after Philip Humber(notes) was struck in the face by a line drive against Cleveland on Aug. 18.
He fared better against the Twins on Aug. 6, allowing one run over 6 1-3 innings of a 6-1 victory at Target Field in his debut for the White Sox after being acquired from Toronto on July 27.
“I like his attitude and his presence on the mound,” manager Ozzie Guillen told the team’s official website following that game. “He’s got a pretty good makeup. Hopefully, he’ll keep it up like that.”
Stewart may have to face Twins stars Joe Mauer(notes) and Justin Morneau(notes) in this start. Mauer could return after missing six games with a stiff neck and Morneau might be back after sitting out the series opener with a sore left shoulder. It may not matter much for Minnesota, which is only 5-12 this season with both stars in the lineup.
Guillen, meanwhile, is hoping Cuban prospect Dayan Viciedo(notes) can continue his stellar start. Viciedo is 4 for 6 with four RBIs since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte to replace the injured Carlos Quentin(notes), and hit a three-run homer in his season debut, a 9-3 win over Seattle on Sunday.
Viciedo, who started at designated hitter Monday, may start taking playing time away from struggling slugger Adam Dunn(notes), who is hitting .163 on the season and has two homers since the All-Star break.
Swarzak, who has filled a long relief role for the past six weeks, earned one of his two wins as a starter this season at U.S. Cellular Field on July 10. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings of a 6-3 victory.
Swarzak had been scheduled to start Friday, but was pressed into relief action again Thursday after Francisco Liriano(notes) strained his shoulder against Baltimore. He gave up five runs over 3 1-3 innings and got charged with a 6-1 defeat.
“It’s one of those game-time situations where you have to grab the ball and go,” Swarzak told the Twins’ official website.