Even during what has been a down first half for the Minnesota Twins , they continue to frustrate the Chicago White Sox.
The Twins will go for their ninth straight win over the White Sox and seventh in a row over Chicago starter Gavin Floyd as the teams continue their series Friday night.
Minnesota (39-47) improved to 5-0 against Chicago (43-46) in 2011 and won its eighth consecutive game between the two with an 6-2 victory Thursday.
Mauer, who did not play in the first four meetings between the division rivals and came in batting .223 in 28 games, is hitting .543 in his last eight games in Chicago and .461 in his last 19 overall versus the White Sox."Coming in here, Chicago, I always feel pretty good at the plate," said Mauer, who also had no trouble defensively in his first game playing first base. "It's just one of those things, the park is a great hitting park. I was just more relaxed, which is good."
The White Sox have lost three straight and scored 13 runs the last six games.
The offense seems to be even worse against the Twins. Chicago has managed only five runs in those five losses, with All-Star Paul Konerko going 2 for 13.
Minnesota has won 27 of 33 against Chicago and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the third-place White Sox in the AL Central. The Twins have won seven straight at U.S. Cellular Field, their longest wining streak in Chicago since a nine-game run spanning 1965-66."They can be beat," Chicago's Juan Pierre said. "They're not undefeated. They might be undefeated against us."
Despite Chicago's confidence things will turn around, the Twins have good reason to believe their winning streak against the White Sox will continue.
Floyd (6-8, 4.17 ERA) has lost six consecutive starts against the Twins and is 4-9 lifetime against them. He allowed four runs and 11 hits in eight innings of a 4-1 loss at Target Field on June 15.
The Twins are hitting .364 off Floyd during the last six meetings. Mauer is batting .389 with three homers against him over his career.
The right-hander has lost three consecutive decisions. He gave up three runs and struck out eight in seven innings of a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
The Twins counter with Nick Blackburn (6-6, 4.02), who is 0-2 with a 9.42 ERA in his last three starts. On Sunday against Milwaukee, he allowed six runs and six hits in four innings of a 9-7 win.
However, he's been outstanding in two starts against the White Sox in 2011, giving up one run in 14 2-3 innings. He allowed seven hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win June 16.
The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA in his last eight starts against the White Sox. Konerko is hitting just .225 against him, but A.J. Pierzynski (.389), Carlos Quentin (.370) and Alexei Ramirez (.367) have all hit Blackburn well.