The Chicago White Sox have won five straight over the Minnesota Twins and will try to complete a three-game home sweep as a pair of struggling left-handed starters match up.
Minnesota's Scott Diamond is 2-0 this year against the White Sox, who will counter with John Danks on Wednesday in Chicago.
The Twins (64-86) took 10 of the first 13 meetings between the AL Central's worst teams before this streak by the White Sox.
Although Diamond (5-11, 5.61 ERA) owns a worse ERA than Danks (4-13, 4.73), the Twins starter could have an edge Wednesday since he has posted a 3.18 ERA in two starts against the White Sox (60-91) this year.
Danks, in contrast, is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two outings versus the Twins in 2013. Chicago has lost 16 of his 23 starts against Minnesota - the opponent he has faced the most.
Mirroring the play of their teams, neither starter is closing out the year in strong fashion.
Since Diamond beat Danks on June 20, he is 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA in eight starts for the longest winless stretch of his career. Diamond's ERA in day games is at 6.82 compared to a 4.11 mark at night.
Danks has posted a 9.42 ERA in losing his last three starts, and called his four-inning stint last Thursday in which he surrendered seven runs in a 14-3 loss to Cleveland "embarrassing."
"If I had a reason I would've fixed it," Danks said. "I just couldn't do what I wanted to do."
Diamond faces a tough matchup against Dayan Viciedo, who is 8 for 19 with a homer against him. Viciedo is 5 for 9 with four RBIs in this series while Alexei Ramirez is 5 for 7 and has also driven in four runs.
Ramirez is 4 for 20 against Diamond, who has limited Gordon Beckham to one hit in 12 at_bats.
One player who Danks has never faced is Alex Presley, who will likely be back in the lineup. Manager Ron Gardenhire chose not to start him Tuesday after the center fielder started his first 15 games with the Twins, who acquired him Aug. 31 from Pittsburgh in the Justin Morneau deal.
Presley batted .302 in those 15 starts, although he struck out 14 times in 63 at_bats.
"I'm pretty impressed with him," Gardenhire told the Twins' official website. "He's done a real nice job for us. He's swinging the bat and hanging in there against tough pitchers he hasn't faced before. He's had some big hits for us."
Minnesota starters are 0-8 with a 7.47 ERA in 15 games since Kevin Correia won at Texas on Sept. 1. Twins starters have been tagged for 10 runs over five innings in this series, with Chicago winning 12-1 on Monday and 4-3 the next night.
The Associated Press News Service
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