Chicago at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Chi. White Sox (51-51)001010000261
Minnesota (52-50) «02000100x360

Light-hitting Casilla helps Twins complete sweep of White Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three players not even on the major league roster a month ago played large roles for the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Light-hitting Alexi Casilla drove in two runs, Brian Duensing pitched five strong innings on short notice and Jesse Crain pitched two of the bullpen's four scoreless innings in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox that gave the Twins a sweep of the three-game series.

Casilla, who entered the game hitting .161, broke a 2-2 tie with a run-scoring single in the sixth and the Twins beat the White Sox for the sixth time in seven games. Minnesota has won four straight overall and remains two games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

"It was a big outing all the way around," said Duensing, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on July 2.

Joe Crede walked to lead off the sixth, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Casilla's two-out single off Jose Contreras (4-10), who lost his third straight.

Crain (3-4) and Matt Guerrier combined for three innings of scoreless relief before Joe Nathan pitched a nail-biting ninth for his 29th save.

Chicago had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth. Nathan struck out Chris Getz but the ball got away from catcher Joe Mauer to advance the runners. Mark Kotsay, in his first game since being acquired from Boston, flied out to end it.

Crain, who was expected to be a key component of the Twins' bullpen but was 1-2 with an 8.15 ERA in his first 17 2/3 innings, pitched 12 times in Rochester from June 16-July 23. Since his return, he has allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings.

"I got my fastball back with life, worked on my slider a lot and my mechanics are a lot better," he said.

Jayson Nix and Carlos Quentin homered for Chicago, which has lost six of seven after entering last weekend tied with Detroit for first place. The White Sox have lost nine of their last 10 and 14 of 16 in the Metrodome. Chicago is 2-10 in its last 12 road games.

"I think it's a typical week for the White Sox coming to Minnesota. Spend a nice day here and get your butt kicked," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I want to see these piranhas in a different lake next year."

The White Sox head home for 10 games with New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland.

"If you can go out and play well and hold your ground against those teams it should give you some confidence," Chicago designated hitter Paul Konerko said. "It's pretty simple -- if you're a playoff team you get it done. If you're not, you fall to the wayside."

Nix and Quentin's home runs were off Duensing, who found out less than five hours before the game that he was making his first major league start in place of Francisco Liriano, who was scratched with soreness and swelling in his left forearm.

Duensing, who had a 5.50 ERA in nine relief appearances with the Twins and was 4-6 with a 4.66 ERA in 13 starts for Rochester, allowed two earned runs and three hits in five innings. He struck out two.

"A good win for us when your starter goes out and can't make his start, and somebody's able to step up and do a good job for you. That's huge. That's why you need 25 people on your ball club," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Moved up one spot in the rotation to replace Bartolo Colon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, Contreras struggled early and late in his 5 2-/ innings. He needed 58 pitches to get through the first two innings, but just 17 in the next two, before running into trouble in the sixth.

An RBI grounds-rule double by Casilla and run-scoring groundout by Denard Span gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead in the second.

"I'm playing more relaxed," said Casilla, who was Minnesota's Opening Day second baseman, but played 40 games in two stints at Rochester that ended July 12, to work on his hitting and the mental part of the game.

Quentin's homer in the fifth ended an 0-for-16 slump and tied the game at 2. The home run was his first RBI since returning to the lineup on July 20 after missing 47 games with plantar fascitis in his left foot.

Notes

  • White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez left the game with an apparent sprained right ankle after sliding into second base. X-rays are expected to be taken Thursday, although team trainers don't believe it is anything more serious.
  • Gardenhire said the plan is to have Liriano rest for a couple of days and throw a bullpen session this weekend. If all goes well, he would likely start next Wednesday in Cleveland.
  • Chicago called up LHP Randy Williams from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Colon. He pitched one scoreless inning.
  • White Sox slugger Jim Thome missed his second straight game with a sore back. He is expected to play Thursday.
 
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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Alexi Casilla is batting just .171, but he powers the Twins offense to finish the sweep.  (AP)
Alexi Casilla is batting just .171, but he powers the Twins offense to finish the sweep. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

A. Casilla
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

J. Nix
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, CF4000010 .297
Gordon Beckham, 3B4020000 .305
Jermaine Dye, RF4000012 .284
Paul Konerko, DH2000201 .283
    Dewayne Wise, PR-DH0000000 .185
Alexei Ramirez, SS3020001 .273
    Chris Getz, 2B1000010 .262
Mark Kotsay, 1B4000004 .244
Carlos Quentin, LF3111012 .217
Jayson Nix, 2B-SS3111000 .234
Ramon Castro, C2000000 .224
   a- A.J. Pierzynski, PH-C1000000 .304
Totals3126224  
a-flied out for Castro in the 8th
Batting
HR - Carlos Quentin (9, Duensing), Jayson Nix (7, Duensing)
RBI - Carlos Quentin (21), Jayson Nix (13)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Ramon Castro (5, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (L,4-10) 5.2633540 4.80
Randy Williams 1000010 0.00
Tony Pena 1.1000020 4.87
IBB - Kubel by Jose Contreras
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 112-59, Randy Williams 10-7, Tony Pena 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 4-9, Randy Williams 2-0, Tony Pena 2-0
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 28, Randy Williams 3, Tony Pena 4
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, LF3021100 .287
Joe Mauer, C3000103 .354
Justin Morneau, 1B4000034 .309
Jason Kubel, DH3010100 .307
Michael Cuddyer, RF4000014 .267
Joe Crede, 3B3100110 .236
Carlos Gomez, CF3110020 .235
Nick Punto, SS3100101 .208
Alexi Casilla, 2B3022000 .171
Totals2936357  
Batting
2B - Alexi Casilla (4, Contreras)
SH - Carlos Gomez (4)
RBI - Denard Span (37), Alexi Casilla 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Alexi Casilla (4)
SB - Carlos Gomez (9, 2nd base off Contreras/Castro), Alexi Casilla (7, 3rd base off Contreras/Castro)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Crede-Casilla-Morneau, Crede-Casilla-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Brian Duensing 5322122 5.09
Jesse Crain (W,3-4) 2200000 6.65
Matt Guerrier (H,22) 1000000 1.99
Joe Nathan (S,29) 1100120 1.55
WP - Joe Nathan (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 64-48, Jesse Crain 22-16, Matt Guerrier 14-10, Joe Nathan 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 7-6, Jesse Crain 3-1, Matt Guerrier 2-1
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 19, Jesse Crain 6, Matt Guerrier 3, Joe Nathan 5
Game Information
Attendance - 39002
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mike Winters