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Vazquez, ChiSox bullpen combine for gem vs. toothless Twins

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- In Javier Vazquez's native Puerto Rico, weather like this is unheard of -- bone-chilling temperatures and numbing winds that make pitching a greater challenge than ever.

"I don't think anybody is comfortable pitching in that weather, but everybody is out there playing on the same page. You know it was a cold day, but I felt good out there," Vazquez said after he allowed one hit over 6 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Minnesota Twins 3-0.

Vazquez ended a long victory drought and four Chicago relievers completed the three-hit shutout on another chilly day at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I've known since the beginning of last week that Friday was going to be cold. So I was prepared for that. It got canceled, but I got prepared for today, also," Vazquez said. "You don't want to play in the weather. But you got to play in this weather."

After Friday night's game was postponed by cold, the gametime temperature Saturday was 31 degrees with a 20-degree wind chill, thanks to winds at 19 mph. Many players and the base umpires covered their ears and an announced crowd of 33,278 was bundled up like it was a football game.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko called Saturday's game probably the coldest he's ever played in.

"It wasn't that cold at the World Series," Konerko said. "The other day it was a little bit warmer, it was snowing a little. Today, as far as cold, it was as bad as I've been in."

Asked if he could remember a game this cold, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ready with an answer.

"Maybe Kenosha, Wisconsin. A-ball," he said. "I think that was the last time I remember it being that cold. But you don't talk about it, you just play. We had the big heater going and guys were getting loose. The guys out in the field were feeling the effects, both teams. You can see it. Some of the swings, not the quickest at-bats. That's part of it. They got the runs and we didn't."

In winning for the first time since last Aug. 10, Vazquez walked four and struck out five.

Vazquez, who went 0-6 in his final 10 starts last season and then received a three-year, $34.5 million contract extension this spring, gave up a leadoff single to Michael Cuddyer in the second inning. It was Minnesota's only hit until Luis Castillo beat out an infield single with two outs in the eighth. Cuddyer added a double in the ninth.

After Cuddyer's single in the second, the Twins loaded the bases on two walks. But Vazquez escaped when Cuddyer forgot how many outs there were, broke off third on Jason Tyner's one-out pop to shortstop and was easily doubled off.

"I just lost concentration out there," Cuddyer said. "There is no excuse. I thought there were two outs and unfortunately there was only one."

Vazquez (1-0) hit Cuddyer with a pitch to open the seventh and after walking Justin Morneau got Torii Hunter to hit into a double play. But manager Ozzie Guillen then went to the bullpen, bringing in Andrew Sisco, who struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo.

Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

After Jose Contreras and Jon Garland had shaky outings and Mark Buehrle was knocked out early by a line drive, the White Sox finally got a strong performance from one of their starters.

"Everybody was real excited in the dugout watching Javy, the way he was throwing," Guillen said. "I think he has good enough stuff to go out there and win a lot of games."

Twins starter Carlos Silva (0-1) allowed five hits and one run in five innings, that coming in the first after Darin Erstad singled to end an 11-pitch at-bat, Jim Thome walked and Paul Konerko hit an RBI single.

The White Sox added two runs in the bottom of the eighth off Dennys Reyes. Juan Uribe led off with his first homer. Scott Podsednik bunted for a single, moved up on a sacrifice and scored when Reyes threw wildly to second on a pickoff attempt.

Notes

  • Twins LF Rondell White was a late scratch with a strained right calf.
  • Not only was Vazquez winless in his final 10 starts last season, he was 0-4 in six spring training starts.
  • Vazquez was 0-4 against the Twins last season.
  • Silva is now 4-7 in his career against the White Sox.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Paul Konerko doesn't take kindly to the cold, but his hot bat contributes an RBI in the win.  (AP)
Paul Konerko doesn't take kindly to the cold, but his hot bat contributes an RBI in the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Vazquez
IP 6.2
H 1
ER 0
BB 4
K 5
Chicago

J. Uribe
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B3010100 .471
Nick Punto, 3B4000011 .188
Joe Mauer, C4000021 .333
Michael Cuddyer, RF3020010 .429
Justin Morneau, 1B2000211 .308
Torii Hunter, CF4000004 .200
Jason Kubel, DH1000110 .143
   a- Jeff Cirillo, PH-DH1000011 .333
Jason Tyner, LF3000013 .167
Jason Bartlett, SS3000010 .083
Totals2803049  
a-struck out for Kubel in the 7th
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (1, Jenks)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Bartlett-Castillo-Morneau, Castillo-Bartlett-Morneau
E - Dennys Reyes (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Silva (L,0-1) 5511110 1.80
Matt Guerrier 2000000 0.00
Dennys Reyes 0.1222101 18.00
Pat Neshek 0.2100100 0.00
IBB - Dye by Pat Neshek
HBP - Dye (by Carlos Silva)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 87-52, Matt Guerrier 16-10, Dennys Reyes 11-6, Pat Neshek 14-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 5-7, Matt Guerrier 1-5, Dennys Reyes 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 20, Matt Guerrier 6, Dennys Reyes 4, Pat Neshek 4
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4120011 .364
Darin Erstad, CF3120001 .385
Jim Thome, DH2000202 .143
    Pablo Ozuna, PR-DH0000000 .333
Paul Konerko, 1B4021002 .286
Jermaine Dye, RF2000101 .154
Joe Crede, 3B4000004 .214
A.J. Pierzynski, C4000004 .143
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B3000000 .167
Juan Uribe, SS3121000 .333
Totals2938231  
Batting
2B - Paul Konerko (1, Neshek)
HR - Juan Uribe (1, Reyes)
SH - Darin Erstad (1)
RBI - Paul Konerko (3), Juan Uribe (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Uribe-Vazquez-Crede, Crede-Iguchi-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez (W,1-0) 6.2100450 0.00
Andrew Sisco (H,2) 0.2000010 3.00
Mike MacDougal (H,2) 0.1100000 3.86
Matt Thornton (H,1) 0.1000010 13.50
Bobby Jenks (S,1) 1100020 0.00
HBP - Cuddyer (by Javier Vazquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 102-65, Andrew Sisco 9-6, Mike MacDougal 9-5, Matt Thornton 8-5, Bobby Jenks 24-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 7-6, Andrew Sisco 1-0, Bobby Jenks 1-0
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 24, Andrew Sisco 2, Mike MacDougal 2, Matt Thornton 1, Bobby Jenks 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33278
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 31
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Brian Gorman