The Chicago White Sox can claim their best start since 1982 by extending the Minnesota Twins' worst since they headed north.
Mat Latos will try to lift the White Sox to a 7-2 record Thursday and give them a sweep of the winless Minnesota Twins.
Chicago has taken advantage of Minnesota's anemic lineup for a pair of wins after Carlos Rodon went six innings in a 3-0 victory Wednesday. The Twins (0-8) have totaled 13 runs in their franchise's worst start since dropping their first 13 games as the Washington Senators in 1904 and are one of MLB's two winless teams along with Atlanta.
Minnesota is also batting .210 and has a dreadful .082 average with runners in scoring position (5 for 61) after going 0 of 6 in its latest contest.
"It's difficult. It's the story and that's what's happening. Everybody knows about it and is reading about it," pitcher Phil Hughes said. "We come in and things are being said, and we've got to find a way to block that out and treat (Thursday) like it's the first game of the season and not worry about this hole we've dug ourselves."
The White Sox (6-2), meanwhile, secured their best start since their World Series championship campaign in 2005. They won their first eight games in 1982 and nine of their first 11.
A well-rested Latos (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will try to complete Chicago's first three-game sweep in Minnesota since September 2012 by building on his spectacular debut for the team.
The right-hander yielded just one hit and one walk in six innings in a 6-1 victory in Oakland last Thursday. It was a promising sign for a player who has dealt with left knee issues in each of the past two seasons.
"I just wanna get back to my old self, I wanna put up zeros on the board and I wanna compete with (the other White Sox starters)," Latos told MLB's official website. "I know we're on the same team, but it's still a competition. With pitchers, I think that's the way we have to go about it. We're always trying to out-do one another, and I think that'll take everybody to the next level."
Latos will face the Twins for the first time and pitch opposite Ervin Santana (0-0, 2.25). After having his season debut cut short by rain, the Twins' right-hander yielded two runs in six innings while fanning seven Friday in Kansas City.
Santana won his only start against the White Sox last season, yielding two runs in seven innings in a 6-2 road victory Sept. 11. He is 2-2 with a 2.77 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in his last four starts versus Chicago.
Santana has yielded one hit to Austin Jackson in 17 matchups, and Jimmy Rollins is 1 for 11 against him. Latos has never faced any Twins regular.