Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will try for his seventh victory in eight starts as the Minnesota Twins go for their seventh series sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon when they host the Chicago White Sox in Minneapolis.
Odorizzi (6-2, 2.38 ERA) is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox. He'll be opposed by right-hander Dylan Covey (0-3, 5.31), who is 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA in four games (two starts) against the Twins, including 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in two career starts at Target Field.
Minnesota has the best record in baseball (35-16), and an unheralded starting pitching staff led by Odorizzi has been a major reason why. The 29-year-old hasn't allowed a run in four of his last five starts, allowing 19 hits and nine walks over 30 1/3 innings while compiling a 0.89 ERA.
Odorizzi picked up a no-decision in last start, a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., on Monday night. That snapped a streak of six consecutive starts with a victory. He departed with a 1-0 lead after throwing 90 pitches over five shutout innings.
"I knew our bullpen was fresh, and I didn't want to lie to (manager Rocco Baldelli)," Odorizzi told MLB.com when asked if he couldn't have gone longer. "I wanted to win the game, and I gave it everything I had for five innings. I could have gone out selfishly for an extra couple of outs, (but if) a guy gets on base, it's tougher for the relievers, so I'm not afraid to swallow my pride."
The Angels tied it in the seventh to spoil Odorizzi's shot at a seventh straight win.
Minnesota will be trying for a season-high six-game winning streak in Sunday's contest. The Twins, who are 18-6 in May, have hit a major league-leading 102 home runs in 51 games.
"The guys have been playing very, very well," Baldelli said. "I think all the way around we can look at what we're doing and the way we're kind of preparing for everything that is going on and we should be happy with the way it's going. But again, we've got to show up tomorrow and we've got to do it again."
Chicago, which has dropped five of its last seven games, played Saturday's game without shortstop Tim Anderson, who is day-to-day with a sore right wrist.
Anderson, who is second in the American League in both batting average (.337) and stolen bases (13), was a late scratch before the 8-1 loss to the Twins after going 3-for-3 with a run scored in Minnesota's 11-4 victory on Friday night.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Anderson suffered the injury on his first at-bat, when a Jose Berrios pitch that jammed him hit his bat and then his right hand.
"The ball hit him on the hand, and he has a nice little laceration there as well," Renteria said. "He tried to hit (before Saturday's game) and said his wrist was too sore from the blow. We decided to scratch him. He'll get treated up and we'll try to get him in the lineup as soon as possible."
Chicago also recalled Seby Zavala from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday after placing catcher Welington Castillo on the seven-day concussion list.
Renteria said the 25-year-old Zavala will make his first major league start on Sunday.