American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, July 31st
(All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (55-47) at Minnesota Twins (44-58), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.31)
Minnesota - Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.99)
(Sports Network) - Three days after being traded from Minnesota to Chicago,
left-hander Francisco Liriano makes his first White Sox start against his old
team when the Twins host game two of the three-game series at Target Field.
The 28-year-old Dominican, a 14-game winner for the Twins as recently as 2010,
was dealt on Saturday in exchange for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez.
He's making $5.5 million this season and is eligible to become a free agent at
the end of 2012.
The White Sox made the deal to bolster a starting staff that's helped them
maintain first place in the American League Central Division, where they lead
the Detroit Tigers by 1 1/2 games in spite of a two-game losing streak.
Detroit lost, 7-3, at Boston on Monday.
Ironically, Liriano's last start with Minnesota was against Chicago, which
chased him following 2 2/3 innings after he allowed seven hits and seven runs.
He's not won since July 6 at Texas, where he allowed a run on five hits in 6
In Monday's opener, Jamey Carroll's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted
the Twins to a 7-6 win.
With Brett Myers (0-1) on the mound, Danny Valencia led off the inning with a
single and Brian Dozier followed with a sac bunt.
On the play, Dozier's bunt went down the first base line and catcher A.J.
Pierzynski fielded it, but his quick throw to first went high and Minnesota
wound up with runners on second and third with no outs.
Carroll followed with a fly ball to right that was fielded cleanly, but Alexi
Casilla, who came on to run for Valencia, easily beat the throw home for the
Ryan Doumit and Valencia each drove in two runs for the Twins, who have won
four straight. Cole De Vries pitched five innings and gave up five runs - four
earned - on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts while Glen Perkins
(2-1) got the win pitching a scoreless ninth.
"To be able to rally for this late win is big for us," Carroll said. "We have
some good guys in this clubhouse and we're really starting to feel good
Pierzynski, who had missed the previous five games due to a mild oblique
strain in his right side, hit a three-run home run while Alejandro De Aza was
4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for the White Sox.
Jose Quintana was charged with six runs - four earned - on 10 hits over seven
"He got better in the game as it went on," Pierzynski said. "He was missing
his spots early and they hit him, but he settled down after that and gave us
seven solid innings."
Minnesota sends righty Nick Blackburn to the mound with a chance for his 10th
career win against the White Sox.
The 30-year-old Oklahoma native fell to 9-8 in 20 appearances against them on
July 25, when he allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings of an 8-2
In 116 1/3 overall innings against Chicago, he's posted a 4.64 earned run
average and allowed a .300 opposition batting average.
Blackburn is 2-3 in seven home starts this season.
The White Sox won seven of the first nine games between the teams in 2012,
including the last five in a row. They swept a three-game series in Chicago
from July 23-25.
Minnesota last won the season series in 2010.
07/31 10:32:13 ET