Twins vs. Sox: Basement battle or season-saver?


When it comes to most meaningful weeks of a season, this could be it for the Twins.

Sitting at 30-36 in the American League Central Division, Minnesota faces last-place Chicago at Target Field the next three nights.

A sweep of the Sox, and all of a sudden the Twins are 33-36, and again looking like a team that will be competitive all year long.

A sweep by the Sox, and the Twins would fall to 30-39, just two games off of last year's pace after 69 games (a 28-41 record).

Can the Twins win all three against Chicago?

It's certainly possible, especially since the White Sox are currently the American League's worst-hitting team, last in runs, hits and walks.

The Twins, however, aren't exactly hitting well lately, either. They've been held to three hits in three of their last four games ... all losses.

"It's just a matter of guys getting going," manager Ron Gardenhire told ESPN.

One player who is clearly under a lot of pressure to produce is third baseman Trevor Plouffe. He's back from the disabled list, and the Twins would like to see consistent, daily production out of Plouffe on the field and in the batters box.

In an injury-filled year, Plouffe is hitting .264 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 39 games. With prospect Miguel Sano now at Double-A New Britain, Plouffe may be running out of time in holding onto his everyday job at third.

"There's a lot of things that need to be answered with his game," GM Terry Ryan told the Star Tribune. "He is in the prime of his career."

Another player under the microscope is tonight's starter, Mike Pelfrey. After a rough start, the Twins are hoping Pelfrey is turning the corner. His record is 3-6 with a 6.12 ERA, but he's pitched into the seventh inning in each of his past two starts. He faces Chicago's Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.26 ERA) tonight.

Other pitching matchups:

Wednesday: Kevin Correia (5-4, 3.97 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (5-5, 2.43 ERA).

Thursday: Scott Diamond (4-6, 5.29 ERA) vs. John Danks (1-3, 4.50 ERA).

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