Twins-White Sox Preview

The Associated Press

Robin Ventura simply wants the Chicago White Sox to forget about their latest miserable showing.

That message might be a bit easier to accept knowing they're still in sole possession of first place in the AL Central.

The White Sox try to rebound and avoid losing a rare series to the Minnesota Twins in Wednesday's finale.

Chicago (73-62) got off to an encouraging start Tuesday, taking a 3-0 lead after one inning, but the game quickly took a turn. The Twins scored seven in the second and 10 in the fifth, and suddenly the White Sox found themselves down 17-4.

Chicago tacked on a couple of runs late with most of its starters on the bench and lost 18-9, its fifth defeat in six games.

The White Sox came out on the losing end despite pounding out a franchise-record 10 doubles, while the Twins managed just three extra-base hits.

Most of the damage from Minnesota's lineup came from the Nos. 6-9 hitters. Ryan Doumit, Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Escobar were a combined 8 for 18 with two homers, a triple, 12 RBIs and nine runs.

"Everyone contributed up and down our lineup," designated hitter Josh Willingham said. "That's a beautiful thing."

The lopsided defeat to the last-place Twins (56-80) obviously wasn't ideal for a White Sox club seeking a division crown, but Chicago's lead over second-place Detroit remained at one with the Tigers losing to Cleveland earlier in the night.

"It's one of those games where they were putting it in play,'' Ventura said. "They had good at-bats. It's worse if you make an error and lose a game or play sloppy that way. This is just one of those, we'll forget this one and play (Wednesday).''

The White Sox might have better luck in the finale given Jake Peavy's recent history with the Twins.

His last win came in Minnesota on Aug. 1, when he gave up two runs over eight innings in a 3-2 final. Peavy (9-10, 3.28 ERA) also beat the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field seven days earlier, yielding two runs in six innings.

He hasn't been as sharp lately. The right-hander gave up six runs and five hits over six innings in Friday's 7-4 loss in Detroit, the second time in three starts he yielded at least five runs. Both of those outings came on the road, though, and he owns a 2.23 ERA in his last seven in Chicago.

Peavy has also done an excellent job of shutting down one of Minnesota's top hitters. Willingham had two RBIs Tuesday to bring his season total to 98 - matching his career high set last season with Oakland - but is 0 for 15 against Peavy.

If Peavy and company can come up with a better showing Wednesday, the White Sox should have a good chance to take their eighth straight series from the Twins. Despite Tuesday's embarrassment, Chicago has still won 18 of the last 24 meetings.

The Twins are expected to activate P.J. Walters (2-2, 5.40) from the disabled list for the finale.

Walters made seven starts for the Twins in May and June before being sidelined with right shoulder inflammation. His best outing came at U.S. Cellular Field on May 22, when he threw a five-hitter in a 9-2 victory for his first complete game.

Paul Konerko, who is batting .138 (4 for 29) in his last eight contests, went 2 for 4 with a double in that game.

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