Minnesota (56-79) at Chicago (68-65)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL, US
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 2:10 pm EDT Wed Aug 31, 2011
  • TV: FSNO, WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ozzie Guillen is already talking about next year, and moving the surging Chicago White Sox closer to the top of the AL Central would only bolster his case to return.

The Minnesota Twins haven’t been much of an obstacle for them lately.

With a visit to division-leading Detroit looming, the White Sox first look to sweep their second series in a month from the Twins on Wednesday.

Chicago (68-65) is five games back of the first-place Tigers in the Central, and the teams open a key three-game series Friday.

His club within range of a playoff push, Guillen feels he deserves a contract extension if he’s to return to the White Sox in 2012 - the final year of his current deal.

“I want to be here,” the outspoken manager said. “Like I say every day, it’s a business. It’s up to (owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf) and (general manager) Kenny (Williams). If they want me here, I’ll be happy to be here.

“One thing I make clear: I don’t think I’ll be here just for a one-year contract and then I don’t know what to do for the next year. Eight years in this organization, I’m guessing (we) did a pretty good job. I think the players (played) for me. I think I deserve more than (one year).”

Guillen’s confidence and brash attitude may be among the reasons the White Sox are 16-7 since a six-game slide, and on the cusp of moving four games over .500 for the first time this year.

They’re also on their second five-game winning streak of the month - equaling their season high - and they’ve capitalized on matchups with the Twins (56-79) in each of them.

Chicago swept a three-game set at Minnesota from Aug. 5-7, and is trying to match that feat at U.S. Cellular Field after winning 8-6 Tuesday.

The White Sox have scored 29 runs and allowed 10 during their five-game winning streak versus the Twins, with the bullpen tossing 10 1-3 scoreless innings while yielding three hits. The surge comes after they dropped 17 of their previous 20 against Minnesota dating back to last season.

Jake Peavy(notes) (6-6, 4.93 ERA) helped complete the last sweep of Minnesota, and will get the chance to do it again.

The right-hander tossed a gem at Target Field on Aug. 7, yielding three hits in eight innings of a 7-0 win. He followed that up by allowing 11 runs in 12 2-3 innings over his next two starts, but bounced back with a 4-2 victory at Seattle on Friday, fanning a season-high-tying eight and giving up two runs in six innings.

Peavy wasn’t effective against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on July 10, surrendering five runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss.

The Twins, who’ve lost nine of 10, are 6-21 this month and will be without Justin Morneau(notes) for several more games due to mild concussion symptoms.

“We care,” Michael Cuddyer(notes) said of Minnesota’s struggles. “I wish we could figure it out. I wish we could put a finger on it.”

Scott Diamond(notes) (0-2, 4.97) takes the mound looking to build on some promise shown in a spot start during Friday’s 8-1 loss to Detroit. The left-hander allowed two runs in his first six innings, but gave up three more before being lifted with one out in the seventh.

“He threw the ball very well,” manager Ron Gardenhire told the team’s official website. “I don’t know if he ran out of gas there in the seventh inning.”

Diamond’s only other major league appearance ended in similar fashion July 18, when he was charged with a 6-3 loss to Cleveland. He yielded two runs through six innings before surrendering two in the seventh and leaving with one out.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Diamond TOR vs. J. Peavy SF
1-5 Record 7-7
5.08 ERA 4.92
19 K 95
17 BB 24
1.74 WHIP 1.26

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Aug 31