Twins hand Diamond ball against White Sox

Scott Diamond goes after his fourth straight win this evening when the Minnesota Twins continue a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

After going 1-5 in seven starts last season, Diamond has won all three of his outings here in 2012, while allowing three runs in 19 1/3 innings. All three of those runs came in a win in Milwaukee on Friday, as he lasted 5 1/3 innings and saw his earned run average jump to 1.40.

Diamond has split his two starts against the White Sox, pitching to a 4.09 ERA.

Chicago will counter with a young lefty of its own in Chris Sale, who is 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA. Sale beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, holding them to a run and five hits, but only lasted 5 1/3 innings because of a high pitch count.

"The most important thing is that we got the win," Sale said Thursday. "But I know my stuff, I've got to be better than that next time."

Sale has faced the Twins eight times out of the bullpen, but this will be his first-ever start against them.

Minnesota continued to thrive in the Windy City in Tuesday's opener, as P.J. Walters turned in a season-best performance for any Twins starting pitcher and the bats more than did the rest, helping the Twins roll to a 9-2 win.

Walters (2-1) went the distance, giving up two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks for the Twins, who have won five of six overall. Walters not only pitched a complete game, but he became the first Twins starter to record an out in the eighth inning this season.

"We gave him a nice lead and he did what a pitcher is supposed to do with it, ran with it," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

Justin Morneau hit a three-run home run, while Josh Willingham and Alexi Casilla each drove in a pair of runs in the win.

Gavin Floyd (3-5) gave up all nine runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks over 3 2/3 frames. The right-hander dropped his eighth consecutive start against the Twins, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to lose that many consecutive starts against one opponent since Tommy Thomas fell to the New York Yankees from 1926-1928.

Gordon Beckham hit a solo home run in the first and Paul Konerko drove in a run in the ninth for the White Sox, who saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

"We did the best we could. It just wasn't there tonight," said Konerko.

Minnesota split its nine overall matchups with the White Sox last season, but has won 18 of the last 23 on the road in this series.