Berrios, Holland to clash in series finale

Berrios, Holland to clash in series finale

The Twins have surprised many by being right in the thick of the playoff race near the end of August. One of the key reasons behind that has been the emergence of young right-hander Jose Berrios, who will take the mound Thursday in the last of a five-game set against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Berrios will face the struggling Derek Holland, who will make his second appearance against the Twins in this series.

The Twins will be looking to cap off a strong series against the last-place White Sox, vying for the second American League Wild Card spot in a crowded race.

Berrios hasn't been as dominant as he was in May and June, but has shown the ability to shut down a lineup. He was strong against a playoff-caliber opponent in his last start against the D-backs, allowing two hits and striking out seven over seven shutout innings.

In that start, the 23-year-old was at his best with his fastball command. Berrios set a career-high with 24 called strikes, according to Statcast. Of those 24 called strikes, 16 came on fastballs and 15 came along the edges of the strike zone, per Statcast.

This will be Berrios' second start against the White Sox this season. On June 21, he worked the second of consecutive eight-inning, two-run performances while striking out eight, walking one and picking up the win.

Holland came out of the bullpen for the second time this season in the first leg of Monday's doubleheader, and allowed a three-run homer to Jorge Polanco in 1/3 of an inning.

Holland has had his struggles this season, failing to get out of the third inning in each of his last two starts. His current ERA of 6.28 is the highest in baseball among qualified pitchers.

Things to know about the game

• White Sox rookie Nicky Delmonico remains in the midst of one of the best career-opening stretches in franchise history. Delmonico reached base in 19 of his first 20 games, including a franchise-best 13 games to open his career. He became the first player in franchise history to launch six homers in his first 19 games.

"Surprise is a rough word for it, but I thought he had the ability," White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson said. "I had seen Nicky a couple of years before that, when he first came over to our organization, and he has done some things physically and mentally to his game. He has refined it pretty good. He worked his tail off this offseason."

• Polanco has been hitting the cover off the ball as of late for the Twins. He's homered in four straight games -- the longest stretch of his career. He's 28-for-72 (.389) with 11 extra-base hits in his first 20 games in August.

• Holland is 2-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) against the Minnesota Twins in his career.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.