The Minnesota Twins will open a six-game homestand when they meet the Chicago White Sox on Friday night in Minneapolis.
The Twins, who posted a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, are looking to record back-to-back wins for only the second time this season. Minnesota concluded its seven-game trip with a 3-4 record.
Meanwhile, Chicago hopes to snap a four-game losing streak. The White Sox’s latest setback was 6-3 to the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday that capped a three-game series sweep.
Chicago will seek to repeat last year’s success against the Twins. The White Sox won the season series 13-6 and outscored Minnesota 123-71.
White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season. Kopech allowed one run in four innings against the Detroit Tigers in his season debut April 10, and he followed that by allowing one run, which was unearned, in five innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Chicago has been conservative with Kopech’s pitch counts in part because of his injury history. The 25-year-old threw 69 pitches against the Tigers and 75 against the Rays.
Opponents have struggled to square up against Kopech’s pitches, managing only three hits in nine innings — two singles and a triple. Batters are hitting .107 (3-for-28) against him.
“I think if I would have been more efficient in those first couple of innings that it probably could have been six or even seven (innings),” Kopech said after his most recent outing. “But efficiency is something we’re working hard for every day. I was happy with how (the start) went.
“I want to be able to continue building up and continue going deeper and eating innings so we can take some stress off our relievers — especially since they’ve been heavily relied on. … I’ve been in that position, as well, and I know what it feels like. I want to be able to do my job for the sake of the rest of the team.”
Kopech has made five career appearances (one start) against the Twins, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
The Twins will counter with right-hander Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.27 ERA), who also is set to make his third start of 2022. He earned a victory in his first outing despite allowing four runs in five innings against the Seattle Mariners on April 10. Ober took the loss in his second start despite giving up only two runs (both unearned) in six innings against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
“I feel like I commanded the zone pretty well,” Ober said after the Sunday outing. “We did a pretty good job of trying to keep guys off-balance. We’re very close (to a turnaround), I feel like.”
Opponents are hitting .205 (8-for-39) against Ober this season, with four singles, three doubles and a homer. He has walked three and struck out seven in 11 innings.
In five career starts against the White Sox, Ober is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
–Field Level Media