Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Preview: White Sox at Twins

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[September 02, 2014]  A pair of teams looking to avoid another last-place finish in the American League Central square off Tuesday when the Minnesota Twins host the Chicago White Sox in the first of two games. The Twins finished in the division basement in 2011 and 2012 before the White Sox brought up the rear last season. Chicago holds a two-game lead over last-place Minnesota as the teams square off for the final time in the Twin Cities this season.

In their pursuit of positives during another losing campaign, the Twins have one in the recent production of star first baseman Joe Mauer, who had three hits and four RBIs in Monday's 6-4 win at Baltimore. Mauer, who is trying to salvage a difficult injury-plagued year, has 17 RBIs in 21 games since coming off the disabled list in August. After trading away veteran slugger Adam Dunn on Sunday, the White Sox earned a split of a four-game series in Detroit with a 6-2 win.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (8-9, 4.75 ERA) vs. Twins LH Tommy Milone (6-4, 4.21)

Noesi picked up the win after allowing two runs and six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings against Cleveland on Wednesday. It was the fourth time in the last five starts that he has worked at least seven innings, during which he has a 3.24 ERA. Noesi is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five career games (three starts) against the Twins, including a win at Minnesota on July 24 when he let up two runs and three hits in a season-high 7 2/3 frames.

Since giving up two runs over six innings in his Minnesota debut on Aug. 11, Milone is 0-1 with a 10.64 ERA in three starts while failing to pick up a win in his last two outings despite the Twins scoring 31 total runs. He failed to strike out a batter in 5 1/3 rocky innings of an 11-5 victory over Kansas City on Thursday, the first time that has happened to the former Oakland pitcher since April 9, 2012. Milone has yielded only two earned runs in 21 innings in his career against the White Sox.

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1. Minnesota is 15-29 in series openers.

2. White Sox CF Adam Eaton is 12-for-28 with nine runs scored during a seven-game hitting streak.

3. Twins rookie DH Kennys Vargas has 26 RBIs in his first 30 games.

PREDICTION: Twins 5, White Sox 4

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