American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, September 14th
(All times eastern)
Chicago White Sox (76-66) at Minnesota Twins (60-84), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Chris Sale (16-6, 2.88)
Minnesota - Esmerling Vasquez (0-1, 9.35)
(Sports Network) - Chris Sale wanted to give the Chicago White Sox a chance to
beat their closest division rival, but instead he will have to settle for
facing a team he has dominated this season.
Originally set to pitch on Thursday, a rain out has bumped Sale into a start
on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game
Chicago was scheduled to wrap a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers,
who it leads by just a game for first place in the AL Central, but the game
was postponed until Monday due to poor weather. It will be the final meeting
of the season between the teams and will now come on what was supposed to be
an off day for the White Sox during a nine-game road trip.
Sale was aiming to pitch Chicago to a series split after it dropped the
previous two encounters with Detroit following Monday's series-opening 6-1
win. He has lost all three of his previous outings against the Tigers this
season and was looking forward to facing the rival club one more time.
"There's not much you can do in this situation, just get ready and head out to
Minnesota and go play hard there," said Sale.
The 23-year-old lefty has had much better luck against the Twins, winning both
of his starts against them this year while allowing two runs over 14 innings
while striking out 11.
Sale has recorded a decision in each of his last 12 starts, going 8-4 with a
3.57 earned run average in that time. He avoided a third straight loss on
Saturday with a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals, giving up a run on
five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
He is 16-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 26 games this season overall, all but one of
While Detroit opens a series on Friday against the Cleveland Indians, Chicago
visits a Minnesota club that holds the same 60-84 record as the Tribe.
The Twins salvaged the final contest of a three-game series against the Kansas
City Royals on Thursday, winning 4-3 on Denard Span's RBI double in the bottom
of the 10th inning.
Span's game-winner marked the third straight inning that the Twins had scored.
Josh Willingham, who hit a solo homer in the first inning, drew a bases-loaded
walk in the eighth with two outs before Trevor Plouffe launched a game-tying
solo homer to begin the ninth.
"It's something that you have to build on. We're a team that wants to finish
strong," said Plouffe. "We don't want to go out losing a bunch of games."
Minnesota was short in depth at the catching position for Thursday's final.
Joe Mauer missed his third game in a row with back spasms, while Ryan Doumit
sat out with a strained oblique suffered making a throw while playing the
outfield on Wednesday.
Both are day-to-day and Drew Butera got the start on Thursday.
September call-up Esmerling Vasquez will make his third start with the Twins
after going 9-6 with a 2.78 ERA in 31 outings (8 starts) at Triple-A this
The right-hander lost his season debut on Sept. 2 at Kansas City, yielding
five runs over 5 2/3 innings, and things did not go much better in his second
outing on Sunday versus the Indians. Vasquez yielded four runs on three hits
and five walks in just three innings of work.
In his only other career appearance against the White Sox, the 28-year-old
Vasquez was touched for four runs while logging only one out in a relief
The White Sox have won 11 of their 15 meetings this season with the Twins,
going 4-2 at Minnesota.
09/14 10:35:22 ET