The Twins swept the Chicago White Sox with an 8-4 victory on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.
Scott Diamond was the winning pitcher as the Twins finished their nine-game home stand with a 6-3 record. They open a three-game series at Cleveland on Friday night.
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Two weeks ago, the Twins had faced only seven left-handed starting pitchers all season, by far the lowest number in the majors. Today, they will face John Danks, their fourth lefty of this homestand and their second in a row, with another lefty scheduled tomorrow night in Cleveland.
That's good news for Brian Dozier, who seems to be manager Ron Gardenhire's best option at the leadoff spot against left-handers. Dozier had three hits last night, including a three-run home run off Chris Sale, and is back atop the lineup today.
"It's worked yesterday, hopefully it'll work again," Gardenhire said. "We'll just see how it goes. He's been swinging more aggressive. And that's a better fit than what we've had. I like him up there."
Another thing he likes: having Josh Willingham in the lineup. After sounding worried about the outfielder's stiff knee on Wednesday, Gardenhire said Willingham's knee is apparently much better. "Hammer came in and said he feels great," Gardenhire said. "When I got here today, my first priority was to see what we were going to to with Hammer. And he just said he's playing."
That allows the Twins to use a similar lineup as last night, with just one change: slumping Pedro Florimon, batting .118 over his last 10 games, taking a seat in favor of Eduardo Escobar. The lineups:
De Aza CF