Minnesota at Chicago

Scoreboard
Minnesota (4-1) «000002100014100
Chi. White Sox (1-3)001002000003102

Twins win fourth straight off Hardy's RBI in 11th

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- J.J. Hardy never recovered from a slow start last year, so it's safe to say he's enjoying this.

Hardy drove in Joe Mauer with a single in the 11th inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Friday night for their fourth straight win.

"It's definitely important for me to get off to a good start considering last year I got off to a horrible start and the whole year was a down year," Hardy said. "New team, new bunch of guys and yeah, it's a good feeling over here."

Now, all he has to do is keep it up.

The go-ahead rally started when Mauer, pinch hitting for rookie Drew Butera, drew a leadoff walk against Tony Pena (0-1). He was sacrificed to second by Denard Span and moved to third on Orlando Hudson's line drive to deep center.

That set the stage for Hardy, who fell behind 0-2 before knocking a 2-2 slider past diving shortstop Alexei Ramirez to make it 4-3.

"I didn't hit it hard but I hit it where they weren't," Hardy said. "I was pretty fortunate on my part, our part to get that over with."

Hardy's hit made a winner of Brian Duensing (1-0), who pitched two scoreless innings. Jon Rauch worked the 11th for his third save in three chances, although the White Sox threatened.

Alex Rios singled with one out but got caught stealing, and Omar Vizquel followed with another one before Span made a diving catch on Ramirez's sinking liner to center to end the game. Pena took the loss despite allowing just one hit in three innings.

Justin Morneau had three hits for the Twins, Hardy had two more to put his early average at .333, and Jim Thome received a standing ovation when he pinch-hit for Nick Punto in the 10th. He responded by tipping his helmet and then struck out in his first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field since the White Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

The White Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom half after back-to-back singles by Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin, but Mark Teahen grounded into a double-play to remain hitless this season.

The White Sox, meanwhile, continue to struggle at the plate. They've scored three runs in each of their three losses since a season-opening 6-0 win over Cleveland and were just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position on Friday.

"We've got to get going," Teahen said. "Obviously nobody enjoys going through it, but everyone around here is more or less a veteran and knows what they need to do to get it going -- hopefully sooner than later."

Chicago's John Danks and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano each threw six innings.

Danks, a 13-game winner last season, allowed two runs and struck out six while walking one against a team that had nine homers and at least one in each of the first four games.

Liriano, coming off a five-win season, allowed three runs and four hits.

"I wish I could remember everything that happened in the game," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was a grind 'em out, both sides threw about everything they had out there, benches, the whole package and missed opportunities."

The Twins scored two in the sixth to take a 2-1 lead, but the White Sox responded with two in the bottom half. Their bullpen just couldn't protect the one-run cushion.

Scott Linebrink walked Span leading off the seventh and Hardy with one out before Morneau tied it at 3 with a double to the right-field corner off Randy Williams. The White Sox intentionally walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases for Jason Kubel, who fouled out. Rookie Sergio Santos then struck out Delmon Young and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

"Our pitching staff's been great," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think we've got to start swinging the bat better and make things happen. Our bats are very cold. ... It's hard to win games when I've got like four guys who can't even put up their average yet."

Notes
  • At 4-1, the Twins are off to their best start since 2007.
  • Span broke an 0-for-10 skid with a single in the first.
  • Omar Vizquel made his White Sox debut, starting at third.
 
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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J.J. Hardy breaks the tie when he strokes a 2-2 pitch for a single to left that drives in Joe Mauer. (AP)
J.J. Hardy breaks the tie when he strokes a 2-2 pitch for a single to left that drives in Joe Mauer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

A. Rios
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4120101 .150
Orlando Hudson, 2B6010024 .174
J.J. Hardy, SS5021110 .333
Justin Morneau, 1B5131113 .389
Michael Cuddyer, RF5110116 .333
Jason Kubel, DH4000125 .077
Delmon Young, LF5011015 .294
Brendan Harris, 3B3000100 .143
    Nick Punto, PR-3B0000000 .250
   a- Jim Thome, PH1000010 .200
    Alexi Casilla, 3B0000000 .000
Drew Butera, C3000032 .000
   b- Joe Mauer, PH-C0100100 .333
Totals414103712  
a-struck out for Punto in the 10th
b-walked for Butera in the 11th
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (1, Williams)
SH - Denard Span (2), Drew Butera (1)
RBI - J.J. Hardy (3), Justin Morneau (4), Delmon Young (7)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (1), Delmon Young (6)
SB - Denard Span (1, 2nd base off Linebrink/Lucy)
CS - Denard Span (1, 2nd base by Danks/Lucy)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Denard Span 1
DP - Hudson-Hardy-Morneau, Hardy-Hudson-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Francisco Liriano 6433530 4.50
Pat Neshek0100000 0.00
Matt Guerrier 2100010 0.00
Brian Duensing (W,1-0) 2200000 0.00
Jon Rauch (S,3) 1200010 3.00
WP - Francisco Liriano (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 92-56, Pat Neshek 5-5, Matt Guerrier 31-20, Brian Duensing 31-21, Jon Rauch 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 6-7, Matt Guerrier 2-3, Brian Duensing 4-1
Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 25, Pat Neshek 1, Matt Guerrier 7, Brian Duensing 7, Jon Rauch 4
Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF5000001 .118
Gordon Beckham, 2B3010201 .286
Carlos Quentin, RF4120101 .333
Paul Konerko, 1B3110113 .250
    Mark Teahen, PR-1B1000001 .000
Andruw Jones, DH3000113 .000
   a- Mark Kotsay, PH-DH1000010 .000
Alex Rios, CF5022002 .200
Omar Vizquel, 3B5010012 .200
Alexei Ramirez, SS5120001 .188
Donny Lucy, C2010010 .500
   b- A.J. Pierzynski, PH-C2000001 .200
Totals39310255  
a-struck out for A. Jones in the 11th
b-grounded out for Lucy in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (1, Liriano), Alexei Ramirez (1, Neshek)
RBI - Alex Rios 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios 2 (2)
CS - Alex Rios (1, 2nd base by Rauch/Mauer), Omar Vizquel (1, 2nd base by Liriano/Butera)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
DP - Rios-Konerko-Beckham
E - Alexei Ramirez 2 (2, Missed catch of throw)
Chicago White Sox
John Danks 6821160 1.50
Scott Linebrink (H,1) 0.1011210 27.00
Randy Williams (BS,1) 0.1100100 3.86
Sergio Santos 0.2000110 0.00
Matt Thornton 0.2000000 2.45
Tony Pena (L,0-1) 3111240 2.45
IBB - Cuddyer by Randy Williams
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 105-65, Scott Linebrink 13-5, Randy Williams 12-5, Sergio Santos 14-7, Matt Thornton 10-7, Tony Pena 59-33
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 8-4, Sergio Santos 1-0, Tony Pena 3-2
Batters Faced - John Danks 27, Scott Linebrink 3, Randy Williams 3, Sergio Santos 3, Matt Thornton 2, Tony Pena 12
Game Information
Attendance - 21416
Game Time - 3:43
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi