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Minnesota at Chicago

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Minnesota (18-23)000202000461
Chi. White Sox (17-22) «00070000x771

Dye's grand slam fuels seven-run fourth, White Sox top Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- As the weather heats up in Chicago, Jermaine Dye and his fellow White Sox star to see a rise in their batting averages.

Coming off a 1-6 road trip and scoring an AL-low 3.9 runs per game this season, the White Sox were greeted at U.S. Cellular Field by 80-degree temperatures, clear skies and friendly breezes.

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The result: two high-scoring victories against the slumping Minnesota Twins, including a 7-4 decision Wednesday night.

"When it gets warm here, this ballpark turns into a smaller park than it is," said Dye, whose grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning and helped the White Sox win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks.

"It lets you go up there and feel comfortable, and guys are starting to get in the swing of things," said Dye, who also connected in the series opener. "So far, so good. We knew this was a big homestand for us."

The grand slam Wednesday was the eighth of Dye's career. Since joining the White Sox before the 2005 season, he leads all AL outfielders with 147 homers.

"Third time facing a guy, you have a feeling that if he swings at a strike it's going to be hit hard," said Paul Konerko, whose two-run homer started the White Sox fourth-inning barrage. "We've seen it so many times before."

So have the Twins. They have lost 10 of 11 in Chicago, getting outscored 79-36, and have allowed at least one home run in each of their past 20 games at U.S. Cellular Field.

Then again, winning anywhere has been a challenge for the Twins lately. They have a season-high six-game losing streak -- all on their current road trip, which ends Thursday in Chicago.

"When you're winning it seems like everything goes right, and it's the exact opposite ... when you're losing," Michael Cuddyer said. "There's only one way to reverse that, and it's to continue fighting, continue busting it and hopefully things change."

Getting a few timely hits and making some big pitches would help. The Twins are batting .118 with runners in scoring position during the road trip and haven't gotten a victory from a starting pitcher in eight games.

"When you keep missing opportunities and your starters don't get through five innings, you're not going to win games," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "[Twins starter Francisco Liriano] needs to make one pitch to get out of the inning and he just couldn't do it. Jermaine Dye, it just looked like he threw it right down the middle."

Liriano (2-5) gave up seven runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings.

White Sox starter John Danks (3-3) allowed five hits and two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings to win for the first time in nearly a month.

After Danks surrendered Cuddyer's two-run homer in the sixth, Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink and Bobby Jenks combined for 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. Jenks pitched the ninth for his ninth save in as many chances.

Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez's error on a potential double-play grounder helped the Twins take a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Jason Kubel had an RBI single and Joe Crede added a sacrifice fly.

The White Sox immediately responded, sending 10 batters to the plate in their half of the inning. In addition to the home runs by Dye and Konerko, Josh Fields singled in a run.

Notes

  • The right-handed Dye, who usually excels against lefties, was batting only .133 vs. them this season until he took Liriano deep.
  • Twins LHP Glen Perkins, on the DL since Monday, underwent an MRI that showed inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow.
  • Fields is batting .122 in his past 11 games and has struck out 43 times in 133 at-bats this season. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he'll bench the 3B "if he keeps doing what he's doing."
  • Twins C Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
  • White Sox LF Carlos Quentin, who missed his fifth consecutive game with a heel injury, hopes to be back Friday against Pittsburgh.
 
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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John Danks gets plenty of help from the White Sox offense and picks up his first win in nearly a month.  (AP)
John Danks gets plenty of help from the White Sox offense and picks up his first win in nearly a month. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Dye
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Minnesota

M. Cuddyer
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, RF3010100 .296
Brendan Harris, SS4000022 .270
Joe Mauer, C4110011 .397
Justin Morneau, DH3100112 .331
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4212010 .259
Jason Kubel, LF4011020 .324
Joe Crede, 3B2011100 .229
Carlos Gomez, CF3000003 .222
   a- Brian Buscher, PH1010000 .229
Matt Tolbert, 2B3000010 .167
   b- Jose Morales, PH1000001 .327
Totals3246438  
a-singled for Gomez in the 9th
b-grounded out for Tolbert in the 9th
Batting
2B - Joe Crede (7, Danks)
HR - Michael Cuddyer (5, Danks)
SF - Joe Crede (1)
RBI - Michael Cuddyer 2 (22), Jason Kubel (21), Joe Crede (16)
CS - Denard Span (3, 2nd base by Danks/Miller)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Harris-Tolbert-Cuddyer
E - Michael Cuddyer (3, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Francisco Liriano (L,2-5) 4777312 6.04
Luis Ayala 3000100 4.87
Jesse Crain 1000000 7.62
HBP - Nix (by Luis Ayala)
Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 90-57, Luis Ayala 31-23, Jesse Crain 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 4-7, Luis Ayala 5-3
Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 22, Luis Ayala 10, Jesse Crain 3
Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4010002 .268
Jayson Nix, 2B2100101 .226
Jermaine Dye, RF4114002 .274
Jim Thome, DH2110200 .257
Paul Konerko, 1B4112013 .317
Brian Anderson, CF4000000 .250
Alexei Ramirez, SS3110100 .218
Josh Fields, 3B4111001 .218
Corky Miller, C3110001 .219
Totals3077741  
Batting
2B - Alexei Ramirez (5, Liriano), Corky Miller (3, Liriano)
HR - Jermaine Dye (10, Liriano), Paul Konerko (6, Liriano)
RBI - Jermaine Dye 4 (25), Paul Konerko 2 (27), Josh Fields (13)
2-OUT RBI - Jermaine Dye 4 (6)
SB - Scott Podsednik (3, 3rd base off Liriano/Mauer)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
PB - Corky Miller (1)
E - Alexei Ramirez (3, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (W,3-3) 5.2542371 4.60
Octavio Dotel (H,6) 0.1000000 0.66
Matt Thornton (H,7) 1000000 2.30
Scott Linebrink (H,3) 1000010 1.80
Bobby Jenks (S,9) 1100000 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 111-70, Octavio Dotel 2-1, Matt Thornton 12-8, Scott Linebrink 18-11, Bobby Jenks 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 6-4, Matt Thornton 3-0, Bobby Jenks 1-2
Batters Faced - John Danks 25, Octavio Dotel 1, Matt Thornton 3, Scott Linebrink 3, Bobby Jenks 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29044
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg