WHITE SOX (23-27) AT TWINS (34-16)
2:10 p.m. ET; FSNO, NBCSCH, MLB.TV
Chicago White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos will return from the injured list and attempt to cool down the hot bats of the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Banuelos (2-3, 7.26 ERA) hasn’t pitched since leaving a 9-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians on May 14 with left shoulder discomfort, having allowed five runs on four hits over four-plus innings.
The 28-year-old went on the injured list after that. An MRI on the shoulder came back negative, and he threw a successful side session Wednesday.
Banuelos will be facing the Twins for the first time in his career, and he will be out to snap a personal three-start losing streak.
He will make his return against a Minnesota team that not only possesses the best record in baseball (34-16) but has been hitting home runs and scoring runs at a historic pace.
The Twins belted three more homers in an 11-4 victory over the White Sox in the Friday night series opener. They increased their total to 101 long balls through 50 games, joining the 1999 Seattle Mariners (102) as the only teams in major league history to top the century mark for home runs after 50 games.
Minnesota, which also has scored a franchise-record 300 runs through 50 games, has produced at least 10 runs six times this year. Twice this season, the Twins have hit eight home runs in a game.
The Twins also banged out five doubles Friday, including two-baggers from Marwin Gonzalez and Eddie Rosario that hit off the wall in right-center. Rosario hit his team-leading 15th homer while going 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Max Kepler hit his 11th while finishing 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Miguel Sano smashed his fifth homer in just 28 at-bats this season, and he scored three runs.
“Hard,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria about Minnesota’s 12-hit attack, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Their contact was hard today. A lot of hard contact across the board.”
“It’s awesome to watch this team right now,” Rosario said. “Every guy in this lineup has power. This team is awesome to watch.”
He didn’t get any disagreement from Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
“We would never want to put any limitations on ourselves,” Baldelli replied when told the Twins became just the second team to hit 100 home runs in their first 50 games. “Our guys from top to bottom compete very well. We have been swinging the bats well. I think I feel good saying that. And the feeling is good from all of our position players. … We just try and keep it rolling. …
“I think it’s good that it’s being talked about because it has been impressive, and guys have been doing a great job. But in the clubhouse, it’s more about, ‘How do we do it again the next game?'”
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.47 ERA) will start Saturday for the Twins, who have won four consecutive games and are 17-6 during the month of May.
Gibson, who lost his last start at Seattle, 7-4, on Sunday, is 7-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 14 career starts against the White Sox.
–Field Level Media