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Twins Battle White Sox In Last Game Before All-Star Break

The Minnesota Twins will attempt to continue their outstanding turnaround in their last game before the 2011 All-Star Break, as they play the series finale of their four-game set with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

With a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on June 1, the Twins' record dropped to 17-37, and they were 16.5 games out in the American League Central standings. Since then, Minnesota has put together a record of 23-11 and have pulled themselves to within seven games of the Cleveland Indians in the division, putting them in position to make a run at another American League Central title that anyone would have thought highly unlikely just six weeks ago.

Despite having their nine-game winning streak over the White Sox snapped on Saturday afternoon, Minnesota is still 28-7 against Chicago in their last 35 meetings, and have won eight of their last eleven overall.

Scott Baker was scheduled to get the start for the Twins today, but Ron Gardenhire has elected to skip over him to give him time to rest the elbow he strained in his last start. As a result, Anthony Swarzak (1-2, 3.71 ERA) will get a spot start for Minnesota this afternoon. Swarzak has appeared in ten games for Minnesota this year, but only three of those appearances have come as the starting pitcher. He is 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA this season as a starter, but has not started since June 2 against Kansas City. His last appearance came on Wednesday, as he pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Minnesota's 12-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The White Sox will turn to Jake Peavy (4-2, 4.83 ERA) as their starter for their last game before the All-Star break. Peavy did not perform terribly well in his last start, as he went six innings on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, allowing five runs on six hits in a 5-3 Chicago loss. He has not faced the Twins this season.

First pitch for this one is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time at U.S. Cellular Field. Twinkie Town will have the Game Thread up for your game discussion purposes, and we will have your recap for you when everything has been completed.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.