Sox ready to rid selves of road demons
Chicago (51-48) at Minnesota (49-50), 7:10 p.m. CT
DETROIT -- It would be hard to imagine the following statement coming from anyone associated with the White Sox organization, but second baseman Chris Getz doesn't truly detest baseball at the Metrodome.
"I actually enjoy playing there," said Getz on Sunday, one day before the White Sox open a three-game series in Minnesota to complete this seven-game road trip. "I like the playing surface and I like hitting there. I look forward to it."
Getz had previous playing experience at the Metrodome while suiting up for the University of Michigan, and the road results for the Wolverines had to be better than what the White Sox have recently experienced. Entering Monday's matchup between John Danks and Glen Perkins, the White Sox have a 2-11 record over their past 13 games in Minneapolis and have a 4-14 mark in their past 18.
The Twins captured two of the three games played at the Metrodome prior to the All-Star break, including a 13-7 Sunday shellacking in which Mark Buehrle allowed eight runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings. Two starts later, Buehrle hurled the 18th perfect game in Major League history at home against the Rays.
Monday's contest features Danks' first start since earning the victory over Baltimore on July 17 in the Sox opening game of the second half. Danks missed his Wednesday trip to the mound against the Rays due to a blister problem on the index finger of his left hand, which turned into minor circulatory issues.
That blister began in a start on July 10 at the Metrodome, when the usually reliable left-hander walked four consecutive to start the game and yielded four runs in the first six hitters. But Danks won't list that night's struggles as medical related.
"If I feel like I'm not capable of going out there and giving us a quality start and a chance to win, I won't throw," Danks said. "I could feel it, but I felt fine to go out there and throw. I put [that start] behind me, and hopefully I'll redeem myself [Monday]."
These three games against Minnesota figure to be important ones for Chicago. The White Sox built up a small head of steam with Sunday night's 5-1 victory over the Tigers, but they still lost two games in the American League Central standings to first-place Detroit over the weekend.
Going into their personal road house of horrors, the South Siders can ill afford to fall any further behind the Tigers or give the third-place Twins a chance to chase them down. Then again, that fact would be true whether the White Sox were playing at the Metrodome, at home or any other road stadium.
"Facing Minnesota, it's not going to be easy," Getz said. "It's a battle, but there are no games where it's easy and we don't need to show up. We are going to approach this series the same as we always do: play good defense, score runs and pitch well."
"We aren't going in there defeated," Danks said. "We know we have to play well. It's definitely different than playing at U.S. Cellular, I don't think that's any secret. If we go out there and play well, we definitely can win. But we have to throw strikes and play good defense."
Pitching should be the key for the White Sox. Ozzie Guillen's crew faces three starters whose lowest ERA among them is 5.04. And it doesn't get any easier for the White Sox after the Twins, with a seven-game homestand to follow against the Yankees and the Angels.
Before they think about returning home, though, the White Sox have to focus on getting back on track at a place that usually knocks them off-kilter.
"Our team has played enough games there that we should be used to it," said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker of the Metrodome. "I thought we swung the bat really well there last time and we scored a lot of runs. I don't look at it as a house of horrors as an offensive team."Pitching matchup
CWS: LHP John Danks (8-6, 3.98 ERA)
Danks is 1-0 in two starts against the Twins this year, having surrendered six runs over 11 1/3 innings. He walked the first four batters of the game against the Twins on July 10, but recovered to allow only four runs in the start. He did not factor in the decision. MIN: LHP Glen Perkins (5-6, 5.55 ERA)
After getting the green light from specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles Thursday, Perkins will make his scheduled start Monday after suffering from left shoulder tendinitis since his last start on July 22nd. In his previous start, Perkins was rocked, giving up eight earned runs in one inning. In three career starts against the Chicago White Sox, Perkins is 1-1 with a 5.64 ERA. Tidbits
Scott Podsednik's first-inning infield hit Sunday was his 26th this season, ranking him second behind Ichiro Suzuki in the American League. ... Freddy Garcia turned in a solid first Minor League start for Class A Kannapolis on Sunday, allowing two hits and walking one over three scoreless innings. Garcia fanned three in the 95-degree heat and helped his own cause by inducing two double plays in a 3-2 victory over Rome. ... At Triple-A Charlotte, Brian Anderson is 6-for-19 (.316) with two home runs and five RBIs in the four games played since he was optioned to the Knights. Catcher Tyler Flowers is batting below .200 since his promotion to Charlotte ... Gordon Beckham is 8-for-17 (.471) with one home run and five RBIs over the five nationally televised games on FOX or ESPN that he has played for the White Sox. All four of his home runs have come on the road. Tickets
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Tuesday: White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 11-3, 3.28) at Twins (Scott Baker, 8-7, 5.04), 7:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday: White Sox (Bartolo Colon 3-6, 4.19) at Twins (Francisco Liriano, 4-10, 5.56), 7:10 p.m. CT
Thursday: White Sox (Jose Contreras, 4-9, 4.80), 7:11 p.m. CT
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.