The Chicago White Sox return to American League Central play on Tuesday having not made up the amount of ground they hoped during a stretch of games against teams under .500.
The White Sox went 5-5 over a 10-game stretch against the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox, which is actually better than their winning percentage, but wasn’t good enough to make much of a difference.
The White Sox will head into play Tuesday 6½ games back in the American League wild-card standings, but without a reasonable chance at becoming playoff eligible since they would still have six teams to jump in the standings.
The White Sox will open a three-game series Tuesday at Minnesota, against a Twins team they have not seen since late June. The White Sox are a disappointing 4-9 against the Twins this season after winning two of the three games in the opening home series of the season.
From Minnesota, the White Sox will head to Kansas City for three games against the Royals, another division team that has given them fits this season.
Of the 32 games remaining this year, 24 are against AL Central teams. Judging by the club’s 20-31 record against division teams, that isn’t necessarily a sign that its .473 winning percentage is about to get any better.
The current three-game trip will be the White Sox’ last trip to Minnesota this season. Their last three games against the Twins will be at home next week from Sept. 11-13.
HEAD TO HEAD
Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey, who has never faced the White Sox, has 11 walks over his first four career starts, including four in his more recent outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. ... Twins pitcher Tommy Milone is not only undefeated (3-0) in six career appearances against the White Sox, he has a 1.64 ERA over 38 1/3 innings. ... Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson is also undefeated (3-0) over four career appearances against the White Sox, with a 2.20 ERA. ... White Sox starter Chris Sale is 7-4 lifetime against the Twins with a 3.56 ERA in 20 appearances, 12 of which have been starts. ... White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon has never made a start against the Twins, but he did face them in relief earlier this season, pitching three scoreless innings despite giving up six hits and a walk. ... The Twins’ Brian Dozier is just 3-for-16 (.188) against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija and has struck out five times.
After their victory Sunday over the Mariners, the White Sox are 12-3 this season in extra-inning games. ... White Sox pitchers tied a franchise high with 19 strikeouts Sunday, exactly two weeks to the day they struck out 18 batters in a nine-inning game against the Cubs. ... White Sox reliever Matt Albers has not been scored upon over nine consecutive appearances (12 2/3 innings). ... In three appearances on the just-completed homestand, White Sox reliever David Robertson retired all 12 batters he faced, while striking out five. ... Not only is Avisail Garcia hitting .315 (17-for-54) over his last 14 games, Melky Cabrera is hitting .316 (12-for-38) over his last nine games. ... Former White Sox reliever Neal Cotts, one of four players from the 2005 World Series roster who is still active in the major leagues, is now a member of the Twins, having come over in an Aug. 21 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. ... The Twins, who briefly held the second wild-card spot in the American League, are one game out of a postseason spot at the start of play Tuesday.
Tuesday: White Sox LH Chris Sale (12-7, 3.20 ERA) vs. Twins RH Tyler Duffey (2-1, 4.29), 7:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH Carlos Rodon (6-5, 4.15) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (6-4, 3.86) 7:10 p.m. CST
Thursday: White Sox RH Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.85) vs. Twins RH Kyle Gibson (9-9, 3.82), 12:10 p.m. CST