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Chicago at Minnesota

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Chi. White Sox (14-11)000000100171
Minnesota (12-14) «00030000x370

Bonser fuels Twins to win over division-leading ChiSox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Ron Gardenhire rarely expresses feelings of desperation in reference to his team, especially this early in the season.

So when the Minnesota manager said his Twins "desperately needed" a quality start from the rotation, it was a telling statement of just how dire the situation had become.

Just when it was really starting to look bad, Boof Bonser came to the rescue.

Bonser picked up Minnesota's beleaguered starting rotation with the group's first win in 10 days to lead the Twins to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

Bonser (2-4) gave up a homer to Joe Crede among six hits and struck out eight to earn the win, the first by a Twins starter since April 19.

"We needed that out of Boof," catcher Joe Mauer said. "That's the best I've seen him this year. That was huge of him to go deep into the game for us. We haven't been able to do that for a while."

Jason Kubel homered and Joe Nathan picked up his eighth save for the Twins.

Gavin Floyd (2-1) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings and Crede hit his AL-leading seventh homer of the season.

Bonser mixed a sharp curveball and a sneaky slider with a fastball in the low 90s to keep the first-place White Sox off balance.

"That was probably the first time since the start of the season that I've had it going," Bonser said of his curveball. "Last year I had it going good. But my first four or five games I have not had it like I did tonight."

He lasted at least six innings for the sixth time in his seven starts, giving the bullpen a much needed breather after a marathon weekend in Texas. Livan Hernandez and Francisco Liriano combined to last just 3 1/3 innings in two pummelings by the Rangers, dropping Minnesota's starters to 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA and 47 hits in the previous 32 2/3 innings.

It's been an all-or-nothing kind of year for the Chi-town sluggers. They entered the game with an AL-worst .242 batting average, but led the league in scoring with 5.2 runs per game thanks to a league-best 34 homers.

"Our offense still continues to struggle, know what I mean?" manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Not to take any credit from Bonser, but we continue to struggle at the plate and we try to fight our way out. But there's no doubt that he threw the ball well."

Jim Thome nearly got another one in the eighth off Dennys Reyes that would have tied the game, but Delmon Young made a leaping catch at the wall, then a strong relay to Brendan Harris, who doubled up Nick Swisher at first base to end the inning.

"We're scoring some runs, but overall our batting average isn't where we want it to be," Thome said. "It's not where we hope to see it at the end of the season. It's going to take work to get there."

The Twins got all the runs they would need in the fourth when Kubel's two-run homer landed in the upper deck in right field and Young scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Lamb.

Bonser had gotten a combined seven runs of support in his previous five starts this season. It was his first victory at home in 13 starts, dating back to June 10 of last year.

"I felt good, but at the same time, they were swinging at a lot of stuff," Bonser said. "I was throwing the ball in the dirt and they were swinging at it."

Notes

  • Joe Mauer hit a triple in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, which ties a career high.
  • White Sox SS Orlando Cabrera had two hits, snapping an 0-for-20 skid.
  • Twins SS Adam Everett (shoulder) is just starting to take grounders and throw to first base and his return does not appear imminent. RHP Scott Baker (groin) is scheduled to start on Saturday against Detroit. But he will have to pass a test in a bullpen session on Wednesday first. "If he feels it at all," manager Ron Gardenhire said, "he will not pitch."
  • The White Sox announced that their suspended game from Monday night, tied 3-3 with Baltimore after 11 innings when it was suspended by rain, will be resumed before the two teams meet on Aug. 25.
 
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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Boof Bonser cruises through seven innings, yielding just one run and striking out eight batters.  (AP)
Boof Bonser cruises through seven innings, yielding just one run and striking out eight batters. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Bonser
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
Minnesota

J. Kubel
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Chicago White Sox
Nick Swisher, CF4010020 .222
Orlando Cabrera, SS4020011 .225
Jim Thome, DH4010013 .216
Paul Konerko, 1B3000111 .221
Jermaine Dye, RF4000023 .300
A.J. Pierzynski, C4020000 .310
Carlos Quentin, LF3000012 .300
Joe Crede, 3B3111011 .270
Juan Uribe, 2B3000001 .160
Totals3217119  
Batting
2B - Jim Thome (5, Bonser)
HR - Joe Crede (7, Bonser)
RBI - Joe Crede (22)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Crede (8)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (5, 2nd base off Bonser/Mauer)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - A.J. Pierzynski (2, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
Gavin Floyd (L,2-1) 6533311 3.16
Ehren Wassermann 0.2100000 0.00
Boone Logan 1.1100000 4.22
Pitches-Strikes - Gavin Floyd 99-57, Ehren Wassermann 12-9, Boone Logan 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gavin Floyd 5-12, Ehren Wassermann 2-0, Boone Logan 1-2
Batters Faced - Gavin Floyd 26, Ehren Wassermann 3, Boone Logan 4
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF4000001 .245
Brendan Harris, 2B4000002 .294
Joe Mauer, C3010101 .306
Justin Morneau, 1B4000003 .258
Michael Cuddyer, RF4120000 .286
Jason Kubel, DH4112000 .247
Delmon Young, LF2120100 .273
Mike Lamb, 3B2001012 .213
Nick Punto, SS2010100 .250
Totals2937331  
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (1, Floyd)
3B - Joe Mauer (1, Floyd)
HR - Jason Kubel (4, Floyd)
SF - Mike Lamb (3)
RBI - Jason Kubel 2 (16), Mike Lamb (11)
SB - Delmon Young 2 (6, 2nd base off Floyd/Pierzynski, 3rd base off Floyd/Pierzynski), Nick Punto (3, 2nd base off Floyd/Pierzynski)
CS - Michael Cuddyer (1, 2nd base by Logan/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Delmon Young 1
DP - Morneau-Punto-Bonser, Young-Harris-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Boof Bonser (W,2-4) 7611181 3.75
Pat Neshek (H,5) 0.1100010 3.97
Dennys Reyes (H,2) 0.2000000 0.00
Joe Nathan (S,8) 1000000 0.90
Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 104-73, Pat Neshek 6-5, Joe Nathan 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 5-7, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 27, Pat Neshek 2, Dennys Reyes 1, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20891
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Field Culbreth