The Chicago White Sox take aim at a series win over the Minnesota Twins Sunday in the finale of a four-game set at Target Field.
Dayan Viciedo clubbed a three-run homer to lift Chicago to an 8-5 win in Saturday's bout between the AL Central rivals. Chris Sale struck out eight batters and gave up three runs over seven innings of work. Minnesota's rookie starter Andrew Albers suffered his first loss after pitching a pair of scoreless gems in his first two career starts.
Adam Dunn collected three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Avisail Garcia and Paul Konerko each added an RBI for the White Sox, who snapped a season- long 10-game road skid with Friday's win. Dunn has now hit safely in his last 10 games while batting .438 with two home runs and six walks during that span.
Garcia, who was acquired from Detroit in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston, is settling into his every day role with Chicago since the club parted ways with Alex Rios to make room for him. Garcia is batting .272 and has registered a hit in all but one of his eight games since entering the starting lineup.
Chicago will send left-hander Hector Santiago to the hill for the final game of the series. Although he has not notched a winning decision since June 21, the 25-year-old has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last eight starts. Santiago gave up just one earned run on six hits while lasting five innings against Detroit on Tuesday despite playing with a fever and just one day after a root canal surgery.
"My mindset was like I was going to go no matter what," said Santiago. "The only way I wasn't going to go is if I wasn't able to walk. I said I was going to pitch no matter what if my body was aching or whatever it was. I definitely didn't want to miss it. Every time I threw a pitch, I was kind of grimacing a little bit. It was shooting pain. That wasn't the problem. It was more of being weak in the legs."
Minnesota will try to tie the series as Samuel Deduno gets the starting nod. The 30-year-old righty is coming off his second straight loss. He gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits over six innings at home versus the Indians on Tuesday. Deduno has not given up more than two earned runs in four starts in a row, but has allowed four in each of his past two.
Joe Mauer registered two RBI and a run scored in the setback on Saturday, which was Minnesota's fourth in its last five games. The All-Star catcher is 10-for-20 with two home runs, seven RBI and five runs over his last four games. He played first base on Saturday after Justin Morneau was taken out of the lineup earlier in the day. Morneau cleared waivers on Wednesday, which made it possible for him to be traded by the Twins.
The Twins had some offensive production against Sale, but they went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Brian Dozier, Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit and Pedro Florimon all had two hits in the loss.
Minnesota is 10-5 in games against the White Sox in 2013. The Twins are 17 games behind the first place Tigers in the AL Central race. Chicago is 23 1/2 games in back of Detroit.