MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox will look to continue their dominance of the Minnesota Twins when the teams open a three-game series on Friday night at Target Field.
The White Sox are 8-1 against the Twins this season, outscoring Minnesota by a 45-24 margin in those games.
Chicago swept a three-game series here in mid-April and is making its first of two trips to the Twin Cities over the next four weeks.
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After winning five-straight games to get back in the playoff hunt, the White Sox dropped a pair of games to the Cubs on Wednesday and Thursday, dropping to 8 1/2 games back of the Cleveland Indians for first place in the American League Central, and 6 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wildcard spot.
"Where we're at, all of them are important," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told MLB.com. "Every game is important. There hasn't been a time where we thought games weren't important."
Chicago will send Jose Quintana to the mound to open the series. The left-hander is in the middle of a breakout season with an 8-8 record and a 2.97 ERA in 20 starts. With one more win, Quintana would tie his career high of nine, set each of the last three years. His ERA is nearly a half run lower than his career mark.
Quintana has a 6-5 record in 16 starts against Minnesota, with a 3.92 ERA in those games. He's 2-1 in three starts against the Twins this season, including a six-inning, one-run effort at Target Field on April 11.
He tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings his last time out against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday but did not figure into the final decision.
The Twins will look to build on a 6-2 win over the first-place Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
After the game, the team traded its lone All Star, infielder Eduardo Nunez, to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia.
It's just the first trade of what could be a busy weekend for the seller Twins, who have the worst record in the American League.
"He did everything we could have asked of him," said Twins interim general manager Rob Antony. "This was just an opportunity to get a starting pitcher. We need pitching."
Veteran Ricky Nolasco, another potential trade chip, will get the start on Friday. The right-hander is 4-8 with a 5.40 ERA on the season and was roughed up for six earned runs on six hits and three walks in just two innings his last time out against the Boston Red Sox.
Nolasco had been solid in three previous July outings, allowing three earned runs or fewer in all three starts. He is 0-2 against the White Sox this season and gave up seven runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched at U.S. Cellular Field on June 29.