CHICAGO — The Minnesota Twins finished 29-52 on the road last year.
The new season is bringing far different results for manager Paul Molitor’s club. The Twins are 8-4 away from home, and they look to add to that success Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“It’s good to see,” Molitor said, “but I’m not overly joyous about the road record. I’m just trying to find ways to win games wherever we’re playing right now, especially in the division.”
Minnesota (16-14) has won five of its past six road games, including three in a row. The Twins are playing with confidence after a dominant 7-2 victory over the White Sox in the series opener Tuesday.
Chicago (15-16) is trending downward after a surprisingly good start to the season. The White Sox have lost four games in a row and find themselves below .500 for the first time since April 23.
A sleepy offense has not helped the White Sox, who have scored two runs in their past two games.
“We’ve got to put everything together,” Chicago third baseman Todd Frazier said. “We’ve got the energy, but it seems like right now we’re not clicking on all cylinders.”
Several Twins hitters will carry hot bats into the Wednesday game. Byron Buxton is coming off a three-hit performance that matched a career high, and he has hit safely in nine of his past 12 games. Kennys Vargas also will try to stay hot after clubbing home runs in each of his past two games.
“If you’re playing every day, you start getting confident and comfortable, and you can make adjustments because you’re seeing pitching every day,” Vargas said. “I just try to hit line drives.”
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.32 ERA) will make his seventh start of the season Wednesday. The 30-year-old is coming off a strong outing in which he limited the Boston Red Sox to one run in a season-high 6 2/3 innings.
Hughes will face the White Sox for the second time in as many months. He earned a win April 7 when he held Chicago to one run in six innings at Guaranteed Rate Field. In his career against the White Sox, he is 6-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 20 appearances (16 starts).
White Sox left-hander Derek Holland (3-2, 2.02 ERA) will oppose the Twins for the second time this year. Hughes outdueled him in the first meeting as Holland allowed two runs in six innings.
Holland, 30, has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first six outings with the White Sox. He is 2-4 with a 4.22 ERA in nine career starts against Minnesota.
Miguel Sano is expected to return to the lineup for the Twins after serving a one-game suspension in the series opener. Sano is hitting .333 with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs in his past four games against Chicago. On the season, the 23-year-old is hitting .300 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 29 games.
The suspension was for his role in a bench-clearing incident on April 22.
The Twins also could get back second baseman Brian Dozier, who has missed the past three games because of a sprained left ankle. Dozier is hitting .229 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 26 games.
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