Twins-White Sox Preview

The Associated Press

The last-place Chicago White Sox are surely glad to see one of the AL Central's best teams leave town.

They, however, haven't had much home success against the lowly Minnesota Twins of late, either.

The White Sox try to avoid a seventh consecutive loss in Monday night's series opener against the Twins.

Loser in 15 of 17, Chicago (58-91) is coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of second-place Cleveland. The White Sox, who have been outscored 42-7 during their six-game skid, saw their woes continue in Sunday's 7-1 defeat.

Chicago is now 33 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 64-97 in 1976.

"We come in every game trying to win it, and they outplayed us for four games," said first baseman Adam Dunn, who is 5 for his last 54. "You can take getting beat, but when they just flat out outplay, they pitch better and they hit better, they just outplay you."

Despite taking three of four at Minnesota from Aug. 15-18, Chicago has dropped 10 of 16 in the series, including five of six at home.

The Twins (64-84) had lost four straight by a 36-5 margin and eight of 10 before beating Tampa Bay 6-4 on Sunday. Ryan Doumit hit his 13th homer in the eighth inning and rookie Josmil Pinto followed with a go-ahead three-run shot.

"We talked about if we were really getting after it, and today I thought we really got after it," manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB's official website. "It was a good win for us. A really good win against a team in playoff contention there. We needed that one. That's a boost."

The Twins now turn to Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.25 ERA). The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings Tuesday but didn't factor in the decision of a 4-3 win over Oakland.

Hendriks has gone 2-12 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 career starts while receiving an average of just 3.61 runs of support.

"It gets a little frustrating, but that's how it goes," he said. "Hopefully, I can stay here long enough to let it swing the other way, and I go on a streak. I'm starting to feel good, and (have been) keeping the team in the game."

Hendriks is 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA in three matchups against the White Sox. He surrendered two runs in 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2, 10-inning road win Aug. 9.

Chicago gives the ball to rookie Erik Johnson (0-2, 4.66) for his third big league start. The right-hander yielded six runs - two earned - in 3 2-3 innings Tuesday in a 9-1 loss to Detroit.

"I had some tough breaks out there, but I thought I attacked the zone as best I could," Johnson said after his defense committed four errors. "I could have worked ahead of a few more hitters, of course, and put myself in a better situation."

Johnson will need to be careful against Oswaldo Arcia, who is 6 for 19 with three homers and two doubles in his last four games at U.S. Cellular Field.

Chicago's Alexei Ramirez is hitting .383 with three homers, six doubles and 10 RBIs during a 14-game stretch against the Twins.

The White Sox have dropped 24 of their last 30 home games against division foes.

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