Trevor Plouffe is trying to get back in the lineup Friday. He's taped a pad to his bat handle in order to protect his bruised thumb, then went to the batting cage this morning.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Plouffe will test the thumb one more time on Thursday - during the Twins' offday - and will be placed on the disabled list if he's not ready to play against the Indians on Friday.

Danny Valencia is the leading candidate to replace Plouffe on the active roster. His chances improved last night as Pedro Florimon jammed his hand while playing for Class AAA Rochester and is day-to-day.

The Twins are trying to avoid being swept in the three-game series here. It would also push them to 18 games under .500 for the first time this season.

What's really surprising about this current skid is that their starters have gone at least six innings in six of their last seven games, something they have been praying for. But then the offense or the bullpen lets them down.

Gonna be a hot one here today, with the forecast calling for a high of 97 degrees,

For minor league fans, Byron Buxton is back in action for the GCL Twins. Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers remain on the comeback trail.

The Twins continue to talk to teams about trades. Hearing teams are calling them about Denard Span and Josh Willingham, but they are the ones making calls about Francisco Liriano. No indications that they want to trade Willingham, who has hit 25 home runs and is on pace to hit.41.

Twins (40-57)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, LF
7. Brian Dozier, SS
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Jamey Carroll, 3B

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn

White Sox (52-45)

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
3. Adam Dunn, 1B
4. Paul Konerko, DH
5. Alexi Rios, RF
6. Alexei Ramirez, SS
7. Dayan Vicideo, LF
8. Tyler Flowers, C
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: RHP Jake Peavy


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Postgame: Lifting De Vries, the bullpen and Dozier's defense

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Twins-Indians: The post-Liriano edition