White Sox-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

The Chicago White Sox woke up their bats to sweep a two-game set from a first-place team. They'll try to keep the hits coming against a career minor leaguer making his major league debut for a last-place club.

Jose Abreu and the White Sox look to tee off against Yohan Pino on Thursday night when they kick off an 11-game road trip against the Minnesota Twins.

Chicago (35-37) totaled six runs during a four-game skid before tallying 15 over back-to-back home victories over San Francisco. The White Sox were 3 for 32 with runners in scoring position during the losing streak before going 8 for 17 against the Giants, who entered the series with baseball's best record.

Abreu scored three runs in those two games and hit his 20th homer Wednesday. He became the third-fastest player to 20 career homers in big-league history, doing so in 58 games. Wally Berger (51 games) and Mark McGwire (56 games) were the only players to reach that mark quicker. McGwire's 49 home runs in 1987 are the most ever by a rookie.

"We're happy with what he's doing," manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu, 5 for 12 in his last three games. "He's getting some hits and important RBIs against some great pitchers, so that's a good sign."

Abreu didn't homer in his only series against the Twins, a season-opening set in which Chicago won two of three, but he was 5 for 12 with five RBIs.

While Abreu didn't spend a day in the minors after signing from Cuba, Pino has spent the past 10 years there. However, with the Twins moving Samuel Deduno to the bullpen after he posted a 10.13 ERA over his last four starts, Pino is being recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot.

The 30-year-old right-hander is 9-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 14 games this year, including seven starts.

"He's been throwing the ball well and doing everything they asked," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website. "He has a great ERA and the whole package."

Rookies are 2-3 against the White Sox with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts.

The Twins (32-38) have dropped a season-worst five straight to conclude a nine-game trip, scoring five runs with 18 hits in the last four while wasting a 2.12 team ERA.

Chris Parmelee's solo shot in the 10th broke a scoreless tie Wednesday at Boston before Casey Fien surrendered back-to-back homers in the bottom of the inning for a 2-1 loss. Fien had given up one home run in 29 innings all season.

"It was a tough end to the long road trip," Parmelee told the team's official website. "So we're just excited to get home. Our hitting isn't what we want it to be, but we'll turn it around."

Josh Willingham is 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts during the losing streak while Joe Mauer is 3 for 20. Both have had success against Thursday's starter, Jose Quintana (3-7, 3.98 ERA). Each has two home runs against him with Willingham going 8 for 15 and Mauer 7 for 15.

The left-hander has dropped three straight starts for the first time in his career, giving up 15 runs in 16 1-3 innings.

Quintana, though, is 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his last three starts versus Minnesota. He didn't receive a decision in a 10-9 loss April 3, allowing five runs - two earned - over six innings.

Chicago has taken seven of the last nine meetings, and Alexei Ramirez is batting .415 with 16 RBIs over his last 20 matchups with the Twins.

The White Sox are opening their longest road trip since an 11-gamer April 18-28, 2011.

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