La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins: White Sox in town, is it time to escape from last place?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 2, 2014 - 5:00 PM

White Sox (62-75)

Adam Eaton, CF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Avisail Garcia, RF
Dayan Viciedo, DH
Paul Konerko, 1B
Michael Taylor, LF
Tyler Flowers, C
Marcus Semien, 3B
Carlos Sanchez, 2B


Twins (60-77)

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Kennys Vargas, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Jordan Schafer, LF

Tommy Milone, LHP


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire alluded to his team and the White Sox playing in, ``our own little race, and that's not good.''

The Twins make up the caboose of the AL Central train right now, with Chicago sitting two games ahead.  The Twins, who lead the season series 8-6, could take a couple steps toward getting out of last place. And it would get their September off to a good start. Remember, the Twins were 8-20 last September as everything fell apart en route to another 96-loss season.

In order for the Twins to avoid a fourth straight 90-loss season, they must go 13-12 over their last 25 games.

The Twins have dealt Josh Willingham, Kevin Correia, Kendrys Morales and Sam Fuld and have a bunch of September callups on hand. The White Sox have dealt Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham, in addition to their callups. The Twins are waiting a day to start some the newcomers while the White Sox are firing out Michael Taylor and Marcus Semien tonight.

Aaron Hicks met with the media before before the game, sounding more confident than he did the last time he was in the Twins uniform. Heard that he's cutting down on his swing, working on making more contact and worrying less about power.

Class AAA Rochester hitting coach Tom Doherty, who has helped Hicks with his swing, is with the Twins until the Sept. 14 as an extra coach. Then he will be replaced with Red Wings manager Gene Glynn for the remainder of the season.

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