The Chicago White Sox have won five straight over the Minnesota Twins and will try to complete a three-game home sweep as a pair of struggling left-handed starters match up.
The Twins (64-86) took 10 of the first 13 meetings between the AL Central's worst teams before this streak by the White Sox.
Although Diamond (5-11, 5.61 ERA) owns a worse ERA than Danks (4-13, 4.73), the Twins starter could have an edge Wednesday since he has posted a 3.18 ERA in two starts against the White Sox (60-91) this year.
Danks, in contrast, is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two outings versus the Twins in 2013. Chicago has lost 16 of his 23 starts against Minnesota - the opponent he has faced the most.
Mirroring the play of their teams, neither starter is closing out the year in strong fashion.
Since Diamond beat Danks on June 20, he is 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA in eight starts for the longest winless stretch of his career. Diamond's ERA in day games is at 6.82 compared to a 4.11 mark at night.
Danks has posted a 9.42 ERA in losing his last three starts, and called his four-inning stint last Thursday in which he surrendered seven runs in a 14-3 loss to Cleveland "embarrassing."
"If I had a reason I would've fixed it," Danks said. "I just couldn't do what I wanted to do."
Diamond faces a tough matchup against Dayan Viciedo , who is 8 for 19 with a homer against him. Viciedo is 5 for 9 with four RBIs in this series while Alexei Ramirez is 5 for 7 and has also driven in four runs.
Ramirez is 4 for 20 against Diamond, who has limited Gordon Beckham to one hit in 12 at-bats.
One player who Danks has never faced is Alex Presley , who will likely be back in the lineup. Manager Ron Gardenhire chose not to start him Tuesday after the center fielder started his first 15 games with the Twins, who acquired him Aug. 31 from Pittsburgh in the Justin Morneau deal.
Presley batted .302 in those 15 starts, although he struck out 14 times in 63 at-bats.
"I'm pretty impressed with him," Gardenhire told the Twins' official website. "He's done a real nice job for us. He's swinging the bat and hanging in there against tough pitchers he hasn't faced before. He's had some big hits for us."
Minnesota starters are 0-8 with a 7.47 ERA in 15 games since Kevin Correia won at Texas on Sept. 1. Twins starters have been tagged for 10 runs over five innings in this series, with Chicago winning 12-1 on Monday and 4-3 the next night.
|Alejandro De Aza||14||.500||7||0||1||0||3||.500||1.143||.643|
|August 30, 2013||Samuel Deduno||60-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|August 30, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||60-Day DL||Fractured left tibia|
|August 29, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left shin injury|
|August 20, 2013||Joe Mauer||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 16, 2013||Oswaldo Arcia||Day-to-Day||Sore wrist|
|August 08, 2013||Ryan Doumit||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|Chicago White Sox|
|September 08, 2013||Avisail Garcia||Day-to-Day||Pulled teeth|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||60-Day DL||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Stiff lower back|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Scott Diamond was looking for his first win in almost three months, and a familiar face helped him get it.
With catcher Eric Fryer making his first big league start, Diamond pitched into the seventh inning for his first win since June 20, and the Minnesota Twins avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Wednesday.
Diamond worked with Fryer when he spent more than a month with Triple-A Rochester this summer and connected with the young catcher. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he gave Fryer, who had an RBI single during the Twins' three-run second, his first big league start because of his familiarity with Diamond.
"We just worked really well," Diamond said. "Even after the first inning he was back there we were right on the same page from the very beginning."
Diamond (6-11) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings. Since his previous win, he was 0-5 with a 6.20 ERA in eight starts and spent time in Rochester.
Diamond's season has been a frustrating one. He had surgery on his left elbow last December and didn't make his debut this year until April 13. He started by winning three of his first five decisions but then struggled, only earning two more wins before Wednesday.
He carried a shutout into the fourth until Alejandro De Aza sent a full-count pitch into the bullpen in right field, cutting Minnesota's lead to 4-1. The homer was De Aza's 16th, and his first since Sept. 3 at New York.
Diamond's day ended in the seventh when he allowed Jordan Danks ' two-run single to right field, cutting the lead to 4-3. But Casey Fien struck out Josh Phegley and Conor Gillaspie , pinch hitting for Leury Garcia , hit a flyball to right to end the inning.
Thanks in part to Fryer, an offense that gave him a 4-0 lead after batting twice and a bullpen that threw 2 2-3 scoreless innings, Diamond found a positive off which to build.
"I think just going down to Rochester was kind of that reset for me," Diamond said. "I feel like I'm just building off of that a little bit."
Minnesota had only scored four runs during the first two games of the series, but matched that in the first two innings against John Danks (4-14).
Oswaldo Arcia , Chris Colabello , Fryer and Brian Dozier drove in runs that helped the Twins win for the second time in eight games.
Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for his 36th save in 40 tries, snapping the White Sox's five-game winning streak against the Twins, and handing them their 33rd loss in one-run games.
"You lose this many one-run games, it's that one extra hit," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You're close but you don't get it done. That's the thing about sports, when you're close it stings more."
Fryer was 1 for 3, and got credit from both Diamond and Gardenhire for what he did Wednesday.
"I was thrilled to be in there, thrilled to help out," Fryer said. "Hopefully we keep rolling now."
The Twins looked as if they might roll against John Danks , but after Dozier's two-out single in the second the veteran left-hander retired the last 16 batters he faced.
Still, the first two innings led to John Danks ' fourth straight loss.
"I wish I could have those first couple of innings back," he said. "I didn't make good enough pitches and they hit (them). I'm glad I was able to go as deep as I did just to save the bullpen and finish strong."
NOTES: The Twins' last 11 games are against teams in the playoff hunt, which pleases Gardenhire. "We beat Tampa the other day on a home run late in the game and that was a good feeling. These guys get a taste of that. It's not like our goal is not to knock the other team out. Our goal is to go and compete with these guys and give it everything we have. We owe it to baseball." . Ventura said LHP Hector Santiago would get another start this season. Santiago isn't among Chicago's scheduled starters for its series this weekend in Detroit, but he could start as soon as then if somebody else needs to be skipped. . On Thursday in Oakland, Minnesota will start Kevin Correia (9-12, 4.31) against the Athletics' Dan Straily (10-7, 4.11). Chicago is off, and on Friday, Andre Rienzo (2-2, 5.04) is expected to face Detroit's Max Scherzer (19-3, 2.95).