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Peavy fans nine over 5 2/3 vs. Tigers

When the White Sox and Twins meet Sunday for the final time in 2012, it will be a matchup of a team battling to keep the American League Central lead and a former champion trying to avoid bringing up the rear for a second straight year.

The White Sox got some of their pop back in the lineup Saturday and had a powerful pitching performance as well, earning them their ninth consecutive series victory over the Twins -- a franchise record.

The Twins had put together a winning homestand before the White Sox came to town, and they still have a chance to even out the 10-gamer with a win in Sunday's finale.

It'll be right-hander Jake Peavy taking the ball for the White Sox, meeting left-hander Scott Diamond with Chicago holding a 13-4 lead in the season series thus far.

The White Sox, holding off the Tigers atop the division standings, got Adam Dunn back in the lineup Saturday and had former Twins lefty Francisco Liriano take a no-hitter into the seventh, so they're feeling good about themselves this weekend.

The White Sox are shaking off some road woes with the two wins against the Twins, though they still have just three wins in their last 12 road games.

"It doesn't matter where you play," Dunn said. "If you're playing good baseball, you're playing good baseball. Offensively, we haven't been doing anything. We've been putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers. That's the reason for that."

Having scored six runs Friday and five more Saturday, the White Sox will pose a challenge to Diamond in the finale. Diamond has been the Twins' surprising ace this year but has a 6.50 ERA in his last three outings -- his last outing his first since Sept. 4 after he'd served a suspension.

"It seemed like I was up in the zone and that just might be from the adrenaline and getting back out there," Diamond said after allowing four earned runs on 10 hits in six innings against the Royals. "I've got to continue to work down and in."

White Sox: Dunn makes sharp return
• Dunn played first base on Saturday after missing seven straight games with a strained right oblique. He was 2-for-3 with a double after passing all the tests.

"It's better for him to stay loose, play first base," manager Robin Ventura said before the game.

Dunn was just glad to be back.

"Knowing you can't do anything, it's like having your Christmas presents there and not being able to open them," he said.

• Peavy will be making his fifth start against the Twins this season -- actually, his last three wins have come against Minnesota, including a Sept. 5 outing in which he allowed one run on five hits over six innings.

Twins: Mauer still day to day
• Joe Mauer doesn't know yet when he'll return to the lineup, still bothered enough by back spasms that he missed a fifth straight game Saturday. After going through batting practice and doing some running, Mauer said he's still feeling tightness, especially while running.

"It was good I was out there, but it wasn't very close to what I need to do on a field," Mauer said.

• When Trevor Plouffe broke up Liriano's no-hit bid with a two-run homer in the seventh Saturday, it wasn't a first for the third baseman. He broke up a bid by the Rangers' Matt Harrison in the seventh inning on Aug. 24 with a single.

Worth noting
• The White Sox have won 21 of the last 27 games against the Twins after losing 31 of the previous 39.

• Following this series, the White Sox will head home to face the pursuing Tigers on Monday in a makeup date for their rainout on Thursday. They'll then head back on the road to Kansas City to begin a series on Tuesday. The Twins have a travel day on Monday before sets of three in Cleveland and Detroit.

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