Impressive hitting streaks by Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer have helped the Minnesota Twins keep pace in the AL Central.
A hot streak by rookie Aaron Hicks could put the club over the top.
Hicks looks to build on his best game of the season Tuesday night when the Twins play the second contest of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
The 23-year-old Hicks went into Monday's opener hitting just .137 with one homer and 13 RBI in 30 games and having missed the previous two contests with a right elbow injury. But the outfielder had a huge game to fuel a 10-3 win, sandwiching a pair of solo homers around a fantastic leaping catch in center field during the sixth inning that took a potential game-tying home run away from Chicago's Adam Dunn.
It was the cherry on top for Hicks, the 14th overall pick of the 2008 draft who logged his first career multi-hit game.
Morneau, meanwhile, had three hits and four RBI to stretch his hitting streak to nine straight games, while Mauer has a hit in 12 straight. Morneau is batting .417 over his run with 14 RBI, while Mauer has a .447 average during his hitting streak.
"I have confidence in our guys to hit the baseball. We still have a couple guys that aren't all the way there yet, but it was a pick-us-up kind of night for a lot of guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Minnesota won for the fifth time in its past seven games to remain 2 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central, while Chicago's sixth setback in its last nine games has the club six games out of first place.
Alex Rios doubled and drove in a pair of runs and Dayan Viciedo knocked in a run for the White Sox, who went a dreadful 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Hector Santiago surrendered six runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames to absorb the loss. He gave up four of those runs in the third inning and seemed to struggle after Alexei Ramirez's fielding error allowed the first run of the frame to score.
"I had a few pitches that could have been a little better, and I left some pitches in the zone. It was one of those games. You try to make pitches and get out of stuff, it just goes the opposite way," Santiago said.
The White Sox turn on Tuesday to right-hander Jake Peavy, who is 4-1 with a 3.03 earned run average through six starts this season.
In his first outing since April 26 due to back spasms, Peavy won a third straight decision on Wednesday by holding the New York Mets to just a run on three hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings. He also struck out six in the 6-3 decision.
"I found a way to get through a lineup that was dangerous," said Peavy, who needed 114 pitches in the outing. "We made enough good pitches when we needed to get out of it, and there was some great defensive plays."
The 31-year-old is 6-3 lifetime versus the Twins in 12 starts with a 2.87 ERA. He did not factor into a 2-1 home loss to Minnesota on April 20 as he yielded a run over seven innings with a season-high four walks.
Minnesota's Kevin Correia looks to win for the fifth time in his past six starts as he takes the mound tonight.
The right-hander managed to secure a 5-3 win at Boston on Thursday as he yielded three runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. However, Correia did not walk a batter while improving to 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA in seven starts this season.
Correia, 32, is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA at home on the year, his first with the Twins, and will face the White Sox for the first time.
The White Sox took 14 of 18 from the Twins a season ago, but Minnesota won both meetings of a rain-shortened two-game set in mid-April at Chicago.