The smoking-hot Chicago White Sox are headed to Target Field for a crucial four-game series Thursday night, where they will try to widen the 3.5-game gap between themselves and the Twins.

The 49-38 Sox are riding an eight-game winning streak that lifted them atop the American League Central at the All-Star break after winning 25 of their last 30 games, while the 46-42 Twins lost over half of  their contests in the month of June, including five of their final seven.  Ice cold.

The Twins could split the series and, depending on how the Detroit Tigers do against the Indians in Cleveland this weekend, stay pretty much right where they are.  Of course, they could win the series and make the ALC a little more interesting.  They could also totally blow it and lose three, or worse, be swept and fall 7.5 games behind.  Ugh.

Kevin Slowey gets the start for the Twins tonight against lefty John Danks, who is a career 4-6 against Minnesota with a 5.03 ERA after taking the loss the last time the two teams met.  Slowey also lost his last start against Chicago and is 2-3 with a 5.66 ERA in seven games (six starts) against them.  On a lighter note, the Twins have won three of their five games against the Sox this season.

Also, I'm getting a little worried about Justin Morneau's head. Michael Cuddyer will continue to play first base this evening while our Canadian Crusher sits out once again.  His return is unknown at this point, but I'm glad the club is taking his July 7 concussion seriously.  If he does land on the disabled list, it will likely be retroactive to the date of his injury, putting his return around sometime next week... which it totally just speculation.

  • Joe Mauer only struck out once in high school. [BLB]
     
  • Stay classy, Joey Votto. [Big League Stew]
     
  • Check out TwinsCentric's Trade Deadline Primer. [Shopify]
     
  • Sympathy for Gary Carter. [Walkoff Walk]


I'd love to hear your thoughts on how this weekend's series will pan out, and what (besides winning more games) the Twins can do to get back on track.  As always, feel free to email me with any questions, comments or general shenanigans.