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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, June 20 (All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (35-38) at Minnesota Twins (33-38), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.37) Minnesota - Ricky Nolasco (4-5, 5.66)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago White Sox can't stop Joe Mauer, and they're having a rough time containing him too.
The Minnesota slugger will get another crack at his favorite target on Friday night, when the Minnesota Twins host the White Sox for the second of a four- game series at Target Field.
Mauer has a hit in 12 straight home games against Chicago and is batting .440 in that stretch with seven doubles and three triples. The carnage continued in Thursday's opener, when he contributed two hits and a pair of runs batted in during a 4-2 victory.
"We need some of those guys to get going. That's huge for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Meanwhile, Minnesota teammate Ricky Nolasco has struggled against the White Sox, losing a pair of decisions in three career starts while compiling a 6.63 earned run average. He was dinged up in his last meeting with Chicago on opening day, when he allowed five runs on 10 hits in six innings.
He's winless in his last two overall starts after allowing seven runs in 11 innings. In two previous starts, he'd won both times while allowing five runs in 13 innings.
The Twins haven't won two straight home games since mid-May.
Chicago counters with Hector Noesi, who lasted just 3 2/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to Kansas City on Saturday, when he gave up five runs in his shortest start of the season.
Noesi had been 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three previous starts, all won by the White Sox.
"He's been good for us and he's always given us a chance, but we have to help him out on occasion," manager Robin Ventura said. "If we're not helping him on defense, it's going to make a difference. That's a recipe to lose a game in a hurry."
He last faced the Twins as a starter in 2012 while with the Seattle Mariners. In two relief appearances against them with Chicago, he's surrendered three runs in 3 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday, Mauer's RBI double in the bottom of the eighth propelled the Twins to a 4-2 win.
Danny Santana singled to open the eighth off Jake Petricka (0-2) and Brian Dozier followed by chopping a single to right that put runners at the corners. Mauer then slapped an RBI double down the left-field line that plated Santana and gave Minnesota the lead.
Kendrys Morales was intentionally walked to load the bases following a strikeout of Josh Willingham and Kurt Suzuki added an another run on a sacrifice fly to center.
Casey Fein (4-4) earned the win for pitching a scoreless eighth and Glen Perkins tossed the ninth to capture his 18th save of the season. Mauer finished with two RBI and Willingham homered to help the Twins. Minnesota starter Yohan Pino made his major-league debut after spending the past 10 years in the minors. Pino went seven innings and yielded two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in the no-decision.
Jose Quintana opposed Pino and was up to the task, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts over seven innings of work. Conor Gillaspie had the two RBI for Chicago.
The White Sox won two of three at home versus the Twins to open the season.
06/20 10:53:33 ET
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