After a grueling 10-day road trip through Toronto, Detroit and Boston that came to an end on Wednesday, the Twins are simply happy to be back at Target Field after going 3-6 with five straight losses away from home.
But it's the opposite for the White Sox, who started an 11-game road trip to Minnesota, Baltimore and Toronto on Thursday.
The Twins and White Sox continue their four-game set on Friday in a big series for both teams, but Chicago manager Robin Ventura has tried to downplay the importance of his club's lengthy road trip.
"I don't look at it necessarily that way because any time you start going down that road I think every guy looks at every game like it's the end of the world," Ventura said. "We want to win games and do those things and that's the most important thing right now but I don't want them focused on the wrong stuff."
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco takes the mound for the Twins on Friday, and is looking for a deeper outing than last time out, as he gave up three runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Tigers on Sunday. He also wasn't helped by his defense that outing, as Oswaldo Arcia lost track of a fly ball in right field that led to a run.
"Kind of tough when you give them a couple extra outs but that's going to happen," said Nolasco, who took Arcia's misplay in stride. "We're professionals. You've got to keep going and move on to the next guy. Everybody's out there trying as hard as they can."
White Sox right-hander Hector Noesi will also look to get back on track after lasting just 3 2/3 innings against the Royals on Saturday. The defense also didn't help his cause, as he gave up five runs but only two of them were earned.
"We didn't play defense behind Hector, and that's a recipe to lose a game in a hurry," Ventura said. "It has to get better if you're going to plan on winning games, that's for sure. Hector, he's been good for us. He's always given us a chance but you have to help him out on occasion."
White Sox: Abreu already filling a leadership role
Jose Abreu will play his 60th Major League game Friday night at Target Field. But in that short time frame, Ventura already sees his rookie first baseman playing a leadership role.
"He's already there being able to do the things he does, that becomes natural that guys count on him," Ventura said. "And as a team you count on him to do a lot of different things and the other stuff besides just the playing and the numbers and things like that come later. For right now he is a leader as far as how impactful he is in our lineup. The other stuff comes with it. Probably him speaking English and guys learning Spanish it'll eventually get there."
Abreu leads the AL with an 11.35 at-bat/homer ratio and ranks second in slugging percentage and is tied for second in homers.
Twins: Nunez heads to 15-day disabled list
In somewhat of a surprise, the Twins placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, retroactive to Sunday, to make room for right-hander Yohan Pino on the roster.
Nunez, who suffered the hamstring strain on Saturday, ran the bases before Wednesday's game in Boston, and the initial reports were that everything went positive and he'd be available to play on Thursday. But he admitted to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire that his hamstring was still bothering him and was placed on the DL as a result.
"He came in my office afterward and said, 'My leg's not good. I probably need to go on the DL,'" Gardenhire said. "That's what we needed to hear. I just wish we would've heard it a little bit earlier, but the kid wanted to try to play, and we gave him some time."
• Pino became the oldest Twins starting pitcher to make a debut when he took the mound Thursday night. Pino was 30 years and 175 days old. The previous oldest in franchise history was Jug Thesenga, who made his debut for the Washington Senators on Sept. 1, 1944, at 30 years and 127 days old.
• Twins closer Glen Perkins was cleared to return to action after missing Wednesday's game against the Red Sox with stiffness in his lower back.
• Reliever Nate Jones joined the White Sox to continue his rehab work. He underwent a microdiscectomy in May to correct ongoing back issues leading to hip pain and could return in late July or early August.
• White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia, who is out for the season due to surgery repairing a torn labrum and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder, also joined the White Sox on their road trip.