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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, July 26 (All times eastern)

Chicago White Sox (50-54) at Minnesota Twins (46-56), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) Minnesota - Logan Darnell (0-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The two teams bringing up the rear in the American League Central settle in for the third of a four-game set Saturday as the Minnesota Twins host the Chicago White Sox at Target Field.

Minnesota, 12 games out of contention in the division and 10 games under .500 overall, has opened the second half of the season with just two wins in eight opportunities. The squad has dropped the first two games of this series, falling last night by a final of 9-5.

On the eve of major league baseball's Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, an event that will celebrate the accomplishments of former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas, a new power hitter is making headlines for Chicago these days.

Rookie sensation Jose Abreu became the first player to 30 home runs in the majors this year on Friday, delivering a three-run shot in the first inning to put the visitors on top. Abreu, now batting .292, finished with a pair of hits and two runs scored and is now second in the majors in RBI with 77.

"You just expect him to be in the middle of things when it's happening," manager Robin Ventura said of Abreu. "If he's hitting well, it seems like we're doing well. There's a lot of good things that happen when we get guys on base and he's up there."

Chicago pounded out 17 hits, four coming from Dayan Viciedo and three more by Tyler Flowers. Alexei Ramirez, who connected on his ninth home run of the year, crossed the plate three times.

John Danks, who made it through just 4 1/3 innings against Houston in his previous outing, was credited with the win as he permitted four runs on six hits and struck out five in seven innings of action.

"I did put a little extra pressure on myself this time, coming off that one," Danks commented. "I didn't want that to turn my season around. I didn't think it would, but I certainly wanted to get back out there."

Kevin Correia was saddled with the loss as the Minnesota starter scattered 10 hits, leading to six earned runs, in addition to walking a pair without the benefit of a single strikeout through a mere four innings.

"It was not a very good baseball game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "From the get-go we got behind early with Kevin making a couple bad pitches, and they deposited one big-time. So we had to fight through it. We all know the shape of our bullpen, so we had to leave him in there."

Chris Colabello knocked in a pair of runs for the home team, while Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia logged two hits apiece as both went deep in the losing cause.

After finishing three games under .500 a year ago at 11-14, Chicago hurler Chris Sale has turned the corner and is now shooting for his 10th victory of 2014, against just a single setback, as he takes the hill for the Sox tonight.

Undefeated in his last six appearances, the left-hander is coming off a meeting against Kansas City in which he permitted just a single run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out eight over seven innings during a 3-1 win on Monday.

Outside of a shaky effort versus Toronto late last month when he issued five walks through seven innings, Sales has shown dominating control in his last 10 contests, allowing a total of only 10 bases-on-balls.

Sale is an impressive 5-1 in his career versus Minnesota, carrying a 2.42 ERA through six starts and 14 total appearances.

While the Sox have a dominating arm in Sale going for them tonight, the Twins are indicating that they will be recalling Logan Darnell from Triple-A Rochester to counter.

The left-hander from the University of Kentucky, has appeared in the majors just once previously, working three innings in a 4-2 loss at Cleveland back in May. Darnell struck out one of the batters he faced in that contest.

07/26 10:20:56 ET

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Teams TBD

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Falcons

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at Denver

    Sunday at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Cincinnati

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Devils

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Rice

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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