Chicago at Minnesota

W: F. Garcia (6-1) L: S. Baker (1-4)
HR: CHW - S. Podsednik (1), C. Widger (1), J. Crede (8)   MIN - T. Hunter (8)

White Sox handle Twins again, push best mark to 25-12

CBS wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins did not need a reminder about how critical starting pitching is to success. Freddy Garcia and the Chicago White Sox gave them one anyway on their way out of town.

Garcia won his sixth consecutive decision, leading the White Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Twins on Monday to salvage a split of the four-game series.

Scott Podsednik, Joe Crede and Chris Widger homered to help Chicago win despite resting three regulars and improve to 25-12, the best mark in the majors.

Unlike Sunday night's win, in which they gave up seven runs in the first inning and later pulled off a triple play to rally, the White Sox never trailed this time.

Garcia (6-1) pitched 6 2/3 reliable innings, giving up three runs and seven hits, including a home run by Torii Hunter.

Scott Baker (1-4) was roughed up for Minnesota, whose starters have a collective 6.51 ERA, the worst in either league.

"That's what sets the tone. Always has, always will in this game," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Justin Morneau drove in Hunter with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Hunter's leadoff shot in the fourth brought the Twins to 4-2. But Garcia retired eight in a row after that, breezing to the victory. He left after an RBI single by Shannon Stewart in the seventh, striking out three and walking one.

"I threw strikes. I tried to make my pitches, and that's all I can do. ... We've got five guys in the rotation. We can go every day and try to win some games," Garcia said.

Widger, starting in place of catcher A.J. Pierzynski, drove in three runs and had three hits. Podsednik, Crede and Rob Mackowiak each had three of Chicago's 13 hits.

"Obviously, we were in position to take the series, and right now it's a little frustrating," Minnesota's Joe Mauer said.

The Twins needed a strong start from Baker -- especially with everyone else in the rotation not named Johan Santana still struggling to find their form. Before the game, righty Carlos Silva was sent to the bullpen temporarily to give him more time to straighten himself out. Budding star lefty Francisco Liriano will fill his spot for now.

Baker quickly fell behind, despite handling the heart of the Chicago order -- Jim Thome and Paul Konerko -- without a problem. It was the leadoff man, Podsednik, and a pair of light-hitting subs who did him in.

Widger and Mackowiak, a reserve outfielder, entered the game with only 16 hits -- three for extra bases -- and eight RBI in 82 at-bats between them.

"We continue to work hard off the field, between batting practice and extra hitting, to try to stay in game shape," Mackowiak said. "And when we get in there, hopefully we can be productive."

Widger drove in Mackowiak with a single in the second, and Podsednik homered on a full-count pitch two batters later that clanked on the top of the stacks of football seats above right field and made it 3-0.

"These guys on the bench did a tremendous job," manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Podsednik, who went deep twice in the postseason, including a shot that ended Game 2 of the World Series, last homered in the regular season on Sept. 30, 2004, for Milwaukee. This was his first home run in 162 regular-season games with the White Sox, and he grinned as he reached the dugout and received a congratulatory helmet slap from Thome.

Gardenhire used an off day to keep Santana on schedule, pushing Baker back by three days.

"You might not be as sharp," Baker said, "but there's no excuse not to throw the ball down."

Chicago had at least two runners on in every inning, and Widger led off the fourth with his homer. In the fifth, Crede singled and scored on Widger's single.

That summoned Willie Eyre to relieve Baker, who gave up a career-high 11 hits, five runs and one walk in 4 2/3 innings while striking out four. Eyre loaded the bases in the sixth, and Crede drove in Podsednik with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.

"We don't want to leave here being swept or lose the series," Guillen said. "Every time we come to Minnesota, I almost say the same stuff. Those guys just keep battling. They never make you relax."


  • In 14 games batting fourth, Hunter is batting .382 (21-for-55) with three homers and 16 RBI.
  • The Twins had four steals in as many tries. Widger has thrown out only one runner stealing in nine attempts this year.
  • Morneau turned 25 on Monday.
  • Mackowiak brought a 1-for-17 slump into the game.
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Chris Widger and Scott Podsednik combine to go 6-for-9 with two homers and five RBI.  (AP)
Chris Widger and Scott Podsednik combine to go 6-for-9 with two homers and five RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Widger
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

S. Podsednik
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4232111 .300
Alex Cintron, 2B5010012 .267
Jim Thome, DH3000223 .290
Paul Konerko, 1B4000023 .312
Joe Crede, 3B4232002 .323
Rob Mackowiak, RF5130002 .219
Juan Uribe, SS5000014 .191
Chris Widger, C5233020 .286
Brian Anderson, CF3000113 .181
2B - Scott Podsednik (9, Eyre), Rob Mackowiak (3, Baker)
HR - Scott Podsednik (1, Baker), Joe Crede (8, Nathan), Chris Widger (1, Baker)
SF - Joe Crede (4)
RBI - Scott Podsednik 2 (11), Joe Crede 2 (28), Chris Widger 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Podsednik 2 (7), Chris Widger (1)
SB - Scott Podsednik (11, 2nd base off Baker/Mauer)
CS - Brian Anderson (1, 2nd base by Reyes/Mauer)
Team LOB - 10
Chicago White Sox
Freddy Garcia (W,6-1) 6.2733131 4.56
Neal Cotts (H,5) 1.1100010 2.65
Cliff Politte 1000010 5.65
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 112-72, Neal Cotts 24-15, Cliff Politte 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 10-7, Neal Cotts 3-0, Cliff Politte 1-1
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 28, Neal Cotts 5, Cliff Politte 3
Minnesota Twins
Shannon Stewart, DH4011001 .313
Luis Castillo, 2B4000002 .333
Joe Mauer, C4010001 .314
Torii Hunter, CF4221021 .262
Michael Cuddyer, RF3020100 .329
Justin Morneau, 1B3001003 .240
Lew Ford, LF4110011 .229
Luis Rodriguez, 3B4000012 .250
Nick Punto, SS4010011 .289
HR - Torii Hunter (8, Garcia)
SF - Justin Morneau (2)
RBI - Shannon Stewart (17), Torii Hunter (26), Justin Morneau (29)
2-OUT RBI - Shannon Stewart (7)
SB - Joe Mauer (2, 2nd base off Garcia/Widger), Michael Cuddyer (3, 2nd base off Garcia/Widger), Lew Ford (5, 2nd base off Garcia/Widger), Nick Punto (1, 2nd base off Garcia/Widger)
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (L,1-4) 4.21155142 5.26
Willie Eyre 1111100 4.15
Dennys Reyes 2.1000240 0.00
Joe Nathan 1111021 3.00
IBB - Thome by Willie Eyre
HBP - Konerko (by Willie Eyre)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 88-66, Willie Eyre 33-17, Dennys Reyes 38-21, Joe Nathan 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 3-7, Willie Eyre 1-2, Dennys Reyes 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 26, Willie Eyre 6, Dennys Reyes 8, Joe Nathan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 19413
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dale Scott