The Chicago White Sox have finally put together a long winning streak on the road over the Minnesota Twins, but it may not be enough to erase a poor start against their division rivals or get into the postseason.
Clinging to faint playoff hopes, the White Sox will try to complete their second straight road sweep of the Twins Wednesday night.
Chicago got a season-high nine strikeouts from Jake Peavy(notes) and a home run from Alex Rios(notes) in a 3-0 victory Tuesday. That moved the second-place White Sox (71-69) within eight games of AL Central-leading Detroit with 22 to play, including the final three games of the season series starting Monday night in Chicago.
“We’re still in the pennant race,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I know it’s going to be hard. … One thing about it, we’re not going to quit.”
The White Sox have gone 8-1 against the Twins after dropping seven of the first eight matchups. The surge was sparked by a three-game sweep from Aug. 5-7 - Chicago’s first in Minneapolis since 2004.
The White Sox now will try to win seven straight on the road over the Twins franchise for the first time since Aug. 28, 1956-June 30, 1957, when they were the Washington Senators.
Having managed one run in this series, the Twins (58-84) hope to avoid being blanked in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 6-9, 1978, at Metropolitan Stadium. With Tuesday’s loss, the two-time defending division champions were officially eliminated from the playoff race.
The left-hander was charged with eight runs in 4 2-3 innings of Friday’s 8-1 loss to Detroit. Still, Danks is 6-2 with a 2.85 ERA over his last 12 starts after starting 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA.
Danks, who lost at home to Minnesota on May 4, is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in three career starts at Target Field, which opened last year.
Looking to avoid a fifth straight home loss, Minnesota’s Carl Pavano(notes) (7-11. 4.60) tries to extend his success over the White Sox. During his skid, Pavano has been reached for 17 runs in 27 2-3 innings while getting a total of seven runs of support.
Since joining the Twins following a trade with Cleveland in 2009, Pavano is 5-2 with a 3.53 ERA and two complete games in seven starts versus Chicago.
The right-hander earned his first win in five starts overall after Friday’s 13-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre(notes) is 5 for 12 this season against Pavano, who’s allowed an AL-high 221 hits. Pierre, 9 for 31 in eight games at Target Field this year, needs two hits to reach 2,000.
Paul Konerko(notes), expected to be back in the starting lineup after being given Tuesday off, is 1 for 9 this year when facing Pavano. Though Konerko is 0 for his last 10, he’s batting .311 and leads the team with 28 homers and 92 RBIs.