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he ballgame.?Against Cincinnati, William

Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon has pitched like an unmistakable ace in recent weeks.Rodon cannot afford to let up when the White Sox host the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon in the conclusion of a quick two-game home series.Top-line starters stay consistent ? that?s part of being an ace.Article continues below ...The 25-year-old is 4-3 with a 2.69 ERA in 12 starts this season. In his past seven starts http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-brett-cecil-jersey , he has posted a 3-0 record with a miniscule 1.60 ERA. He is limiting hitters to a .159 average in that span.Against the Twins, Rodon is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts).?He?s throwing the ball really, really well,? White Sox manager Rick Renteria told the Chicago Tribune after a recent outing by Rodon. ?He?s ? minimizing anything (the opponents) can do. His stuff is really good.?His off-speed, his breaking ball are working well. That front-door action, also. Very focused.?Chicago (47-78) will need to stay focused amid a difficult and distracting week.Renteria was hospitalized Sunday after complaining of light-headedness and has missed the past two games ? although the 56-year-old skipper has been released from the hospital. His availability for Wednesday is uncertain, with bench coach Joe McEwing able to manage in his place once again if necessary.In addition, All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu (22 home runs, 78 RBIs) is out for the next two weeks after undergoing outpatient surgery on his lower abdomen and groin Tuesday. The absence of Abreu leaves the White Sox without one of their biggest leaders on and off the field. His four-season streak of 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs is almost certain to come to an end.Minnesota (60-65) is in better shape but also has shown plenty of warts this season. However, the Twins have won six of their past eight games and are coming off a 5-2 victory over Chicago.Right-hander Kyle Gibson (7-9, 3.51 ERA) will make his 26th start for the Twins. He has won back-to-back starts while limiting opponents to four runs over his past two outings. Gibson is 6-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 12 career starts against the White Sox Adam Wainwright Jersey , and he is 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in two starts against Chicago this season.The Twins are riding high after Eddie Rosario (one RBI) and Jorge Polanco (two RBIs) put their team on top with two outs in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday.?Polanco understands his role is to have good at bats and get hits,? Twins manager Paul Molitor recently said to The Athletic. ?He?s done well with runners in scoring position. He keeps the line moving. But everyone likes to contribute power every now and then and to see one from the right side (recently) was really nice.?Both teams will head to the airport after the matinee, with the White Sox flying over Lake Michigan to face the Detroit Tigers and the Twins traveling home to host the Oakland Athletics. The competition level will drop considerably for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates when they open a three-game series Monday with a holiday matinee at PNC Park.In addition, the stakes will remain fairly pedestrian between the two National League Central also-rans.Cincinnati (59-78) will be playing the final three games of 16 in a row within the division. The Reds are 4-9 so far in that stretch but got a boost from winning two of three against St. Louis over the weekend, including a 6-4, 10-inning win Sunday.Article continues below ...?This series we played better, and we got a W, we got a series (win),? Eugenio Suarez told Fox Sports Ohio after he hit a winning two-run homer, giving him 100 RBIs.Even with a sweep of this series, the last-place Reds would be hard-pressed to catch the fourth-place Pirates in the division but can continue to build for the future.?We?re trying to turn the page from a terrible August and see if we can play better baseball in September and take that into the offseason and into spring training ? just get back to winning baseball Michael Wacha Jersey ,? Cincinnati manager Jim Riggleman said.?We want to win games. We don?t care who the opposition is or whether it?s against any of these three (previous) teams competing for playoff spots. We?re not out there trying to spoil their hopes; we just want to win games for ourselves.?There won?t be much the Reds could spoil for the Pirates anyway.Their carrot would seem to be finishing above .500.Pittsburgh (66-71) was 3-6 on a road trip against Milwaukee, St. Louis and Atlanta, and was 2-5 on a preceding homestand against Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs, making it five straight series against clubs holding a playoff spot.The Pirates are coming off a 5-1 loss Sunday to the Braves.In the series opener, Cincinnati right-hander Matt Harvey (6-7, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh righty Trevor Williams (11-9, 3.30 ERA).Williams seemingly is vying for the title of Pirates ace, particularly with his performance since the All-Star break, going 4-2 with a 0.84 ERA in seven starts. Over his past eight starts, he has allowed four runs.Wednesday, Williams pitched six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high eight in Pittsburgh?s 2-0 win at St. Louis.Before his strong stretch http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-ozzie-smith-jersey , over nine starts he had a 7.02 ERA and competed six innings three times.?It?s fight or flight, really. I didn?t want that to define me this year,? said Williams, who leads Pittsburgh?s starters in ERA and with a 1.19 WHIP. ?It was really taking that second half and making the most out of it, where I give our team the best chance to win every five days and execute my pitches and keep the guys in the ballgame.?Against Cincinnati, Williams is 2-1 with a 4.73 ERA in seven career appearances, four of them starts.Harvey is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his past four starts.Wednesday against Milwaukee, he did not get a decision in a 13-12 extra-inning loss. Harvey struck out six and walked none in four innings but gave up five runs and 11 hits.In eight career starts against Pittsburgh, he is 2-6 with a 6.12 ERA.

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