The Twins figure to be sellers and the South Siders will likely be buyers, but both teams must attempt to block out the possible distractions of looming Deadline deals. Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan described the phenomenon as "transactionitis." But Twins players aren't the only ones prone.
"It's inevitable," Ryan said. "This time of year, that happens. Every team, every organization goes through the same thing. There's not a team in the game that doesn't worry about that at this time of the year."
Meanwhile, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said his club will attempt to garner additional starting pitching before the Deadline. Manager Robin Ventura said he would obviously welcome such a move, but he's focused on managing his team with the pieces that are already in place.
"I don't think anybody can plan on what's going to happen, so, for me, it's just do [what you can] with the people that we have," he said. "I think that's all we can do, is play. The front office, they've got to do what they've got to do. They're looking, but you're not always going to get what you'd like to have."
And as they seek more pitching, the White Sox will encounter perhaps brand-new Nick Blackburn in Wednesday's series finale -- or at least a version that better resembles the old Blackburn.
The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Rochester for two weeks earlier this month after struggling mightily for the first half of the season. But on July 20 against Kansas City -- his first start since rejoining the Twins -- Blackburn went a season-high 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on seven hits.
"It's big just to go out there and attack the strike zone," said Blackburn, who didn't issue any walks. "I don't think I was in any three-ball counts, which is big because I've been walking a lot of guys. So I was able to go out there and get some early action, which means the ball had some good movement."
Opposing Blackburn will be Jake Peavy, who is trying to snap a two-game post-All-Star break losing streak. He's allowed a combined 10 runs over 14 innings in those two defeats, the latest being a 4-2 loss at Detroit on July 20.
Peavy was nearly unhittable for most of the outing, but the three two-out runs he allowed in the third proved costly as he was out-pitched by Justin Verlander.
"I love pitching in games like this," Peavy said after the loss. "It's tough when you feel you weren't quite good enough for your team to get it done."
Twins: Plouffe sits again
Trevor Plouffe missed his fourth straight game on Tuesday after bruising his right thumb on Friday against Kansas City. The Twins have still not determined if a roster move will need to be made, but manager Ron Gardenhire is hopeful Plouffe could return Friday after the team's off-day on Thursday.
The third baseman's 20 home runs and .525 slugging percentage both rank second-best for Minnesota.
"We have to get him out and let him take some swings, but he's not ready to do that yet," Gardenhire said. "The area's good, a lot better, smaller area. We just go day by day, he's taking medication for it now, they changed that to stronger stuff, and we'll see what happens."
Justin Morneau went 2-for-4 with a double on Tuesday in his first game back since being reinstated from paternity leave. His wife, Krista, gave birth on Saturday to the couple's second child, Marty.
White Sox: Pierzynski sidelined with oblique strain
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski missed Tuesday's game with a mild right oblique strain, and he may miss Wednesday's series finale, too. Pierzynski sustained the injury during a swing in Monday's game.
He leads all American League catchers in RBIs (50) and slugging percentage (.507).
"He mentioned it toward the end of last night's game," Ventura said before Tuesday's 11-4 White Sox win. "So he's going to take today off, maybe tomorrow. Depends on how he feels when he comes in tomorrow."
Chicago starters are 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA over the team's last 13 home games, posting nine quality starts in that span.
The White Sox have won 10 of their last 12 home games.
Minnesota has been outscored by Chicago, 101-59, over the last 18 games, and the Twins are 4-14 over that span.