The scheduled opener of a four-game series between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox was postponed Monday due to steady rain throughout the day in the Windy City.
The postponement of the game, which will be made up as part of a July 19 doubleheader, probably was good news for the hosts.
The extra day off should be beneficial for reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu, who left Game 1 of Chicago’s Sunday doubleheader against the visiting Seattle Mariners after taking a 96 mph sinker by JT Chargois off the side of the left knee.
After writhing in pain in the batter’s box, Abreu had to be helped off the field by a pair of trainers in the sixth inning of the White Sox’s 3-2 loss. The sat out Chicago’s 7-5 victory in Game 2.
Although X-rays of the knee came back negative, having an extra day should come in handy for Abreu.
“You want his update or our update?” White Sox manager Tony La Russa asked reporters on Monday afternoon regarding Abreu. “He said he’s ready to play.”
Chicago, which is just 2-7 over its past nine games, will start right-hander Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.80 ERA) in Tuesday night’s opener. Minnesota, winner of seven of its past nine contests, will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.85).
Giolito is 5-7 with a 4.74 ERA in 14 career starts against Minnesota but was dominant in his only start against the Twins this season. He allowed one run — a third-inning solo homer by Nelson Cruz — on two hits over eight innings in a 2-1 victory on May 19. He walked three and struck out 11.
Maeda is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox — all in Chicago. He received a no-decision in his only 2021 start against the White Sox, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three in the Twins’ 9-3 loss on May 11.
The 2020 AL Cy Young Award runner-up, Maeda was originally scheduled to start Saturday at home against the Cleveland Indians, but that outing got pushed back due to another rainout.
He comes in off a strong performance in a 4-2 victory at Texas on June 20. Maeda blanked the Rangers over the first five innings and allowed two runs — back-to-back home runs by Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo — and five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
This will be Maeda’s third start since spending three weeks on the injured list with a right adductor strain and right forearm soreness.
“The arm feels great,” Maeda said after his fastball averaged 91 mph, up from the 89.6 mph average before his IL stint. “It’s nice to have the speed back, especially with the arm feeling strong. … Today, I was able to go full strength, so that really felt good.”
Minnesota plays its next 21 games against AL Central opponents, including 10 against the White Sox.
“We’ve played a lot of games, but we’re still at a point where we can go out there and prove ourselves,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Do we have all the time in the world to do that? No we don’t.”
–Field Level Media