Published September 16, 2013
| Sports Network
Right-hander Erik Johnson gets the ball for the third time in his brief career on Monday night when the Chicago White Sox open a three-game series with the visiting Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.
A 23-year-old, Johnson was a second-round choice of the White Sox in 2011 and spent most of 2013 at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte while compiling a combined 12-3 record and 1.96 earned run average across 142 innings in 24 starts.
He debuted in the big leagues at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 4 and allowed three earned runs in six innings of a 6-5 loss to New York, then returned six days later and gave up two earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of a 9-1 loss to Detroit.
He's walked six batters and struck out five in the two outings, during which opposition batters have nicked him for 14 hits.
In 43 career games in the minors, Johnson allowed 186 hits in 236 1/3 innings.
He's opposed by 24-year-old Aussie Liam Hendriks, who aims for a first win in his fourth career meeting with the White Sox.
The third-year big leaguer has faced Chicago once in 2013 and allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings while getting a no-decision in Minnesota's 3-2 win.
In the first two matchups, he'd given up nine hits and six runs in 13 1/3 innings.
Hendriks last pitched on Sept. 10 and allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings against Oakland in a game the Twins ultimately won, 4-3.
On Sunday in Minnesota, Josmil Pinto smacked a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a three-game set.
James Loney's one-out RBI single against Casey Fien (5-2) in the top of the eighth gave the Rays a 4-2 lead, but Minnesota exploded for a quartet of two- out runs in the home half against Joel Peralta (2-8).
Ryan Doumit's two-out homer to right-center cut the deficit to 4-3 before Trevor Plouffe singled and Josh Willingham walked. Pinto stepped up next and drilled an 0-1 fastball into the Rays bullpen in left-center.
Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless ninth to notch his 35th save of the season. Plouffe tallied three hits and Doumit scored twice for the Twins, who snapped a four-game slide.
In Chicago, Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera and Matt Carson homered as the Cleveland Indians continued their dominance over the White Sox this season with a 7-1 victory.
The Indians waited out a rain delay that last over four hours before sweeping their third four-game series from the White Sox in 2013, marking the first time in the 113-year history of the franchise that it completed three four- game sweeps of a single opponent in the same season.
It also marked the first time the feat has been accomplished in the majors since the Dodgers swept three four-game sets against the Mets in 1963.
Chris Sale (11-13) gave up six runs on nine hits while striking out seven over 5 2/3 innings for the White Sox, who have dropped six straight.
Minnesota won 10 of the first 16 games in 2013 with the White Sox, a year after Chicago won 14 of 18 in the season series.