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Twins-White Sox Preview

AP - Sports

Joe Mauer has been locked in at the plate lately for the Minnesota Twins.

Given his history against Chicago White Sox scheduled starter Gavin Floyd, he seems to be in good shape to extend his hitting streak to 11 games Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

After Friday's series opener was postponed because of cold and windy conditions, the Twins (7-7) won 2-1 in 10 innings Saturday. Ryan Doumit led off the 10th with a double and came around to score the winning run on Alexei Ramirez's throwing error.

It was the third straight victory for Minnesota, though it hadn't played since Tuesday because of a pair of postponements and a scheduled off day.

"It has been a weird stretch," Ron Gardenhire told the Twins' official website. "You just have to scratch your way through it and get a win one way or another."

Despite three straight days off, Mauer didn't seem to miss a beat Saturday, going 2 for 4 with a pair of walks. The three-time AL batting champ has a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .577 (15 for 26) in the last six.

He enjoys batting at U.S. Cellular, reaching safely in each of his last 13 games there for a .349 average with 16 walks for a .525 on-base percentage. He has also regularly tormented Floyd (0-3, 6.32 ERA).

Mauer is hitting .442 with three homers and four doubles in 43 career at-bats against Floyd - his highest average against any pitcher he has faced at least 35 times. Floyd has also walked Mauer 10 times.

Floyd is having similar trouble getting batters out in his last two games, as opponents have a .480 OBP.

Against Toronto on Monday, the right-hander allowed four runs, nine hits - including two homers - and three walks in a season-low 4 1-3 innings in a 4-3 loss.

Floyd, who is trying to avoid losing four consecutive starts in a single season for the first time in his 10-year career, posted a 1.38 ERA in winning his last two starts against the Twins. He had an 8.86 ERA in losing each of his previous eight starts in the series.

Minnesota counters with Scott Diamond (0-1, 8.31), who yielded four runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings in last Saturday's 4-2 loss to the New York Mets - his lone outing of the season. The left-hander went 1-3 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts against the White Sox (7-10) in 2012.

Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios each went 5 for 11 off Diamond a year ago, while Adam Dunn was 3 for 10 with a home run.

De Aza had a leadoff homer Saturday, but Chicago managed just five other hits while striking out 13 times.

The White Sox lost for just the fourth time in 11 games when hitting a homer. They're 0-6 when they don't go deep.

"All it's going to take is a few big hits here and there to ease the tension, a few big homers,'' said Jake Peavy, who allowed a run over seven innings Saturday. "We live and die with the home run and we just haven't hit many of them here of late. In the games we have won, we won it with the long ball.''

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