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Minnesota at Chicago

W: J. Crain (3-5) L: M. MacDougal (1-1)
S: J. Nathan (27)
HR: MIN - N. Punto (1), T. Hunter (20)   CHW - P. Konerko (28), A. Pierzynski (11)

Bartlett's ninth-inning single moves Twins into wild-card lead

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen gazed across the field and saw the enthusiastic Minnesota Twins all standing on the top of the dugout steps, watching and rooting.

"They showed up to kick our butts this weekend. They were pulling for each other. Those kids are pesky. If we don't wake up, they will sweep us," Guillen said after Minnesota rallied for a 5-4 win Friday night.

The Twins got a two-out RBI single from Jason Bartlett in the ninth and took over the AL wild card lead by winning for the eighth time in 11 games.

"I don't know how to describe it, just a heck of a baseball game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after his team moved within five games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

The game had a wild ending, as well. In the bottom of the ninth after Scott Podsednik singled and moved to second on Joe Nathan's wild pickoff attempt, Jermaine Dye hit a foul fly down the first base line near the seats.

As Twins first baseman Justin Morneau tried to make the catch, a fan reached over and intefered and the ball was knocked out of Morneau's glove. But first base umpire Andy Fletcher called Dye out to end the game.

"The fan definitely reached over into fair play and interfered with the fielder's opportunity to make the catch," Fletcher said. "He got in his way. I believe he would have made the catch had the fan not have been there."

Guillen didn't even argue.

"I wasn't going to waste my time when half the guy's body was on the field," Guillen said. "It was a good call."

The Twins lead the wild card by a half-game over the White Sox, who fell to third place in the AL Central.

Torii Hunter's three-run homer gave the Twins a 4-3 lead in the sixth after trailing 3-0 early. But Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski led off the bottom of the inning with a homer to tie it.

Hunter started the ninth with a single off Mike MacDougal (1-1). Hunter was forced at second and after Jason Tyner hit back to MacDougal sending pinch-runner Lew Ford to second, No. 9 hitter Bartlett singled to center to put the Twins up.

Jesse Crain (3-5) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory and Nathan got three outs for his 27th save in 28 chances.

"I think that guy better leave town because he's going to get a lot of hate mail," Hunter said of the fan who got in Morneau's way. "I couldn't understand why the fan interfered with the play. You never know, Morneau might not have caught the ball and gave them a second chance."

Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer in the first and the White Sox had another run cut down at the plate after taking a 3-0 lead in the second. Twins starter Brad Radke was pulled after two inning, but a team spokesman said he wasn't injured.

Minnesota's Nick Punto hit his first homer of the season with one out in the sixth to cut the lead to 3-1. After Michael Cuddyer singled, Chicago starter Javier Vazquez was replaced by Neal Cotts.

Cotts yielded a single to Morneau and then Hunter hit David Riske's first pitch for a three-run homer to right, his 20th of the season and fifth against the White Sox.

But Pierzynski answered by hitting reliever Pat Neshek's first pitch for a long homer to right center, his 11th, to tie the game.

Vazquez gave up five hits and was charged with two runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Konerko had gone 65 at-bats without a homer before launching a long drive over the center field fence against Radke after Dye walked in the first.

When Joe Crede and Ross Gload singled to start the second, the White Sox had the makings of a big inning before a great throw from Twins' left fielder Tyner doused it. Juan Uribe sacrificed after the singles to put runners at second and third with one out.

Rob Mackowiak then singled to left center to score Crede, but Tyner threw Gload out at the plate as Twins catcher Joe Mauer made a nice tag. Scott Podsednik then flied out to end the inning.

Radke had given up four hits and three runs when he was replaced by Matt Guerrier to start the bottom of the third. The two innings represented his shortest outing of the season.

The 33-year-old Radke, who is 5-2 since the All-Star game, is pitching this season with a torn labrum and has not had surgery because he will probably retire after the season.

"I could have stayed out there," Radke, refusing to blame his injury. "It's the same as it has been. Gardenhire just didn't want to push it."


  • The crowd of 35,931 ended the White Sox's consecutive sellout streak at 22 games. The team has sold out 42 times this season.
  • Punto now has eight major league homers.
  • Chicago played its second straight game without DH Jim Thome, who is sidelined by a sore left hamstring and might not play this weekend.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Not quite Siamese, but Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau are stuck atop the wild-card standings.  (AP)
Not quite Siamese, but Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau are stuck atop the wild-card standings. (AP)

Players of the Game

P. Konerko
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B5030000 .291
Nick Punto, 3B5111004 .311
Joe Mauer, C4010000 .360
Michael Cuddyer, RF4110011 .276
Justin Morneau, 1B4110000 .316
Torii Hunter, CF4123000 .276
Rondell White, DH4000001 .220
    Lew Ford, PR-DH0100000 .228
Jason Tyner, LF4010000 .315
Jason Bartlett, SS3011001 .347
2B - Jason Tyner (3, Vazquez)
HR - Nick Punto (1, Vazquez), Torii Hunter (20, Riske)
RBI - Nick Punto (34), Torii Hunter 3 (68), Jason Bartlett (21)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter 3 (33), Jason Bartlett (11)
SB - Jason Bartlett (4, 2nd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Jason Tyner 1
E - Joe Nathan (1, On next play Dye out on fan interference)
Minnesota Twins
Brad Radke 2433101 4.46
Matt Guerrier 3300020 2.72
Pat Neshek (BS,1) 0.2211011 1.17
Dennys Reyes 0.1000100 0.95
Jesse Crain (W,3-5) 2100020 4.16
Joe Nathan (S,27) 1100020 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Radke 32-20, Matt Guerrier 39-27, Pat Neshek 13-10, Dennys Reyes 7-2, Jesse Crain 35-26, Joe Nathan 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Radke 3-2, Matt Guerrier 3-4, Pat Neshek 1-0, Dennys Reyes 1-0, Jesse Crain 2-2
Batters Faced - Brad Radke 10, Matt Guerrier 12, Pat Neshek 4, Dennys Reyes 2, Jesse Crain 7, Joe Nathan 4
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF5010014 .259
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4000011 .284
   a- Alex Cintron, PH1000011 .274
Jermaine Dye, RF4120101 .327
Paul Konerko, DH4112023 .308
A.J. Pierzynski, C4111001 .299
Joe Crede, 3B4110010 .295
Ross Gload, 1B4030000 .301
Juan Uribe, SS3000002 .245
Rob Mackowiak, CF3021110 .304
a-struck out for Iguchi in the 9th
HR - Paul Konerko (28, Radke), A.J. Pierzynski (11, Neshek)
SH - Juan Uribe (5)
RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (91), A.J. Pierzynski (46), Rob Mackowiak (18)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (29)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Iguchi-Uribe-Gload
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez 5.2522011 5.06
Neal Cotts0111000 3.99
David Riske (BS,1) 1211001 3.08
Matt Thornton 1.1000000 3.25
Mike MacDougal (L,1-1) 1311000 1.59
HBP - Bartlett (by Javier Vazquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 71-50, Neal Cotts 2-1, David Riske 11-8, Matt Thornton 12-8, Mike MacDougal 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 9-6, Matt Thornton 2-2, Mike MacDougal 3-0
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 22, Neal Cotts 1, David Riske 5, Matt Thornton 4, Mike MacDougal 6
Game Information
Attendance - 35931
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Adrian Johnson