Two old-time rivals begin the 2013 edition of their AL Central rivalry on Friday, when the White Sox host the Twins in the first of three games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Following a rainout of their game against the Angels on Wednesday night, the Twins opted to move everyone in their rotation back a day, so instead of Scott Diamond taking the ball as scheduled, it'll be Opening Day starter Vance Worley opening the series on Friday.
"It's never really good to have that many off-days, especially when you bang a game this time -- you're going to play a lot of games in a row later," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Somewhere you're going to pay. But you can't fight this weather. It is what it is. But you'll be playing in better weather, which is a good thing. But the pitching gets a little out of whack here."
Coming off a rough outing in his last start, the next game can't come soon enough for Worley, who gave up nine runs on seven hits in just one inning of work against the Mets. It was the shortest outing of his three-year career.
"It's frustrating," Worley said after the start. "Nobody likes to have that happen to them. So I'll have to make some adjustments so that I'm ready to go."
Opposing Worley will be White Sox veteran Jake Peavy, coming off the 32nd double-digit strikeout game of his career. Peavy (2-1, 3.93) mowed down the Indians in his last time out, tossing seven innings of one-run ball.
In 11 starts against Minnesota, Peavy has posted a 6-3 record with a 3.03 ERA.
He'll have to contend with a red-hot Joe Mauer, who brings a nine-game hitting streak into Friday's contest. On Monday and Tuesday, Mauer had four hits in consecutive games for just the second time in his career.
"We'll just call it normal," Gardenhire said. "He's just getting hits. He's just on one of those streaks where it's pretty amazing to see that many hits coming each night. But he's pretty consistent with what he does."
Twins: Dozier serving as leadoff man
• Before Wednesday's game was rained out, Brian Dozier was slated to lead off for the second straight night, as outfielder Aaron Hicks continues to struggle.
Hicks, who has notched just two hits in 45 at-bats this season, has batted in the eighth spot in the order during the last two games.
"Our preference is to have Hicks be our leadoff man and go from there," Gardenhire said. "But we moved him down to allow him to have some quality at-bats and not think too much and swing."
White Sox: Glovework in Konerko's future
• Paul Konerko has started the past seven games at designated hitter, including all four this week at Toronto's Rogers Centre, which features artificial turf. Manager Robin Ventura plans to get Konerko back at first base, where Adam Dunn has been taking his place.
"I just didn't want Paul on the turf," Ventura said. "It just seems to create problems every time guys get on the turf."
Dunn made a costly error at first base in Thursday's 3-1 loss.
• Pitching coach Don Cooper will rejoin the White Sox on Friday after missing time with diverticulitis, which forced him to be hospitalized while the team was in Washington, D.C., on April 9. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen has been filling in for Cooper.
"We are looking forward to having Cooper back," Ventura said. "It's odd him not being here. I'm just glad he's feeling better. It's going to be nice to have him back."
• Twins outfielder Josh Willingham is hitless in 15 at-bats against Peavy, and he has struck out four times. Justin Morneau has also struggled against the veteran right-hander, hitting just .188 in 18 plate appearances.
• The White Sox have won four straight and seven of eight against Minnesota. Chicago took the season series last year, 14-4.