White Sox-Twins Preview


Rookie Aaron Hicks may own one of the lowest batting averages in the majors, but he's finding success against the Chicago White Sox.

That's fairly common for Joe Mauer.

Hicks will try to build on his best performance in the majors, while Mauer looks to extend his hitting streak to 13 games as the Twins host the White Sox on Tuesday night.

Hicks, a first-round pick by Minnesota in 2008, has a .152 average to rank only ahead of Chicago's Adam Dunn (.133) for the AL's worst. However, the 23-year-old center fielder is 5 for 15 with five RBIs over his past four games, and he's coming off his best effort yet in Monday's opener of this three-game set.

Hicks went 2 for 3 with a pair of solo homers and robbed a potential two-run shot by Dunn in the sixth inning as the Twins (18-17) won 10-3.

"We've definitely had our share of great ones here and that ranks right up there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That catch is going to rank right up there, especially the moment he caught the ball. A big moment, a big play."

Hicks is 3 for 9 with three RBIs, four runs and four walks in three games against the White Sox (15-21).

Mauer regularly pounds Chicago, hitting .357 with a .456 on-base percentage over his last 49 meetings with the AL Central rival. He's batting .447 with 13 runs and 11 walks during his hitting streak.

"(I'm) just putting together good at-bats and seeing pitches and putting good swings on it," Mauer told the team's official website after being walked three times Monday, bringing his total to 15 over his past nine games against the White Sox.

Mauer has been productive recently against Jake Peavy, Chicago's scheduled starter. He's 5 for 14 with five walks in their matchups since last year, and he's the only current Twin to homer off him.

Hicks is 0 for 2 with a walk against Peavy (4-1, 3.03 ERA).

Peavy is 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA over his last five starts against Minnesota. The right-hander was outstanding April 20, yielding one run with nine strikeouts in seven innings of a 2-1 loss in 10.

Back spasms have limited Peavy to two starts since, but he seemed fine in Wednesday's 6-3 road win over the New York Mets. The only run he allowed came on a solo homer in the second inning before leaving with two outs in the seventh.

Peavy has won three straight decisions, compiling a 1.98 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 27 1-3 innings over his last four starts. He last won four decisions in a row during a single season when he won his final four starts in 2009.

Minnesota is scheduled to give Kevin Correia (4-2, 3.09) his first start against the White Sox.

The right-hander has won four of his last five outings, but he's split his last two behind a 6.10 ERA while being pulled before completing the sixth inning. Correia was credited with Thursday's 5-3 win at Boston after allowing three runs and a season-high nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

A return to Target Field could help Correia to another victory. He's 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA over four starts there this year, tossing at least seven innings in each.

Dunn is 3 for 9 with a homer against Correia, but they haven't met since 2009.

What to Read Next