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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, July 24 (All times Eastern)

Chicago White Sox (48-54) at Minnesota Twins (46-54), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Hector Noesi (4-7, 5.21) Minnesota - Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.06)

(SportsNetwork.com) - And then, there was drought.

The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox have gone from prodigious offense to struggling for runs in recent days, and they'll both be trying to work out the kinks when they open a four-game series on Thursday night at Target Field.

Minnesota won a series from Cleveland to begin the week, but scored only three runs in Wednesday's finale and have managed only 15 runs in their last six games.

For the season, they're averaging 4.2 runs per game.

Chicago has the same season-long clip, but is hitting only .179 with runners in scoring position in its last 11.

The White Sox scored once in each of the final two games of a series with Kansas City on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Minnesota pitchers had been equally impotent while posting a 6.60 earned run average in eight games, but spot starter Anthony Swarzak tossed five innings of one-run ball on Wednesday.

He's followed up by Phil Hughes, who's logged a bloated 6.34 ERA while splitting his last six starts. The first of those six was a 6-5 defeat of the White Sox on June 22, in which Hughes allowed five runs in five innings.

He had posted a 1.34 ERA in his career against Chicago before being dinged for four runs in five innings of a 10-9 Chicago win in early April.

In his last start, Hughes allowed 11 hits in seven innings of a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

Hector Noesi goes for the White Sox, following a 4-3 defeat on Houston on Saturday in which he allowed three runs in six innings.

Last time he faced the Twins was June 20 in Minnesota, and he got a no- decision after surrendering four runs in seven innings.

"I'm getting prepared for the second half to be tough," Noesi said. "So, I'm more aggressive when I go to the mound."

Minnesota has won five of seven in the series this season, including four straight at Target Field in mid-June.

07/24 10:46:10 ET