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Chicago White Sox (50-54) at Minnesota Twins (46-56)
Saturday, July 26 - 7:10 PM EST
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Chris Sale looks to keep alive a phenomenal run on Saturday when he leads the Chicago White Sox into the third of four straight matchups at Minnesota. The lanky left-hander has allowed three runs or less in seven straight starts and exactly one run in each of his last three outings, including seven dominant frames against Kansas City on Monday. Sale is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA over a four-start span and is part of a White Sox trio of southpaws who have combined to go 23-14 this year.
One of those left-handers, John Danks, was the winner Friday after giving up four runs in seven innings of a 9-5 triumph. Chicago slugger Jose Abreu set the tone with a three-run homer before an out was even recorded, extending his hitting streak to 15 games and becoming the first player in the majors to reach 30 home runs. The rookie is hitting .365 with three homers during the streak and is batting .333 against Minnesota.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03 ERA) vs. LH Logan Darnell (0-0, 0.00)
Sale opened his season by allowing three runs and striking out eight in 7 1/3 innings against Minnesota on March 31. He is 5-1 with a 2.42 ERA in his career against the Twins and 3-1 with a 2.83 mark at Target Field. The three-time All-Star entered Friday leading the American League in winning percentage (.900), WHIP (0.863) and hits per nine innings (6.3).
Darnell, who has made one relief appearance in his major-league career, takes the rotation spot of Kyle Gibson, who is unable to go due to a stiff back. Darnell was 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 17 starts for Triple-A Rochester, allowing 96 hits and 40 walks in 94 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old was a sixth-round pick in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky.
1. Chicago is hitting .288 over its last 16 games in Minnesota.
2. Twins LF Josh Willingham is 3-for-20 with 11 strikeouts against Sale.
3. White Sox Adam Eaton has hit safely in 11 of 12 games.
PREDICTION: White Sox 5, Twins 3