Minnesota at Chicago

W: M. Buehrle (2-0) L: N. Blackburn (1-1)
S: B. Jenks (1)
HR: MIN - None   CHW - P. Konerko (3), M. Kotsay (1), G. Beckham (1)

White Sox 5, Twins 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- A shift in strategy worked out well for the Chicago White Sox.

J.J. Hardy was nailed at the plate for the final out on an unorthodox relay, and the White Sox held off the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Sunday to end a four-game losing streak.

Hardy singled with two outs against Bobby Jenks and took off when pinch-hitter Jim Thome lined a shot into the left-center field gap. With the Chicago infield drastically overshifted to the right side for Thome, Hardy figured no one would be in good shape to make the relay home.

"It was a different play," Hardy said.

But third baseman Mark Teahen put himself in position to take left fielder Juan Pierre's throw. Teahen's strike to catcher A.J. Pierzynski arrived in plenty of time, and Hardy was beaten by so much that he didn't slide or go barreling home.

"With Thome up you've got the guys playing shift, the third baseman is kind of playing shortstop," Hardy said. "There's a ball to the left-center gap, third baseman goes back to third base, so now there's no one for the relay from Pierre. I'm running as fast as I can.

"It just turned out that Teahen goes back out there as the relay guy. It's probably a play that no one's ever practiced it and it worked out for them," he said.

The speedy Pierre hurried to track down Thome's drive, which went as a single.

"Right off the bat, we're a little deeper in the outfield with no doubles in that situation, Thome is Hall of Famer for a reason," Pierre said. "I just thought about getting the ball in as quick as possible. I knew they were probably going to be sending him, a ball in the gap, man on first, no-brainer to send him, and I just turned and threw."

"I saw Teahen and chucked it to him and got it out of my hands so I couldn't get blamed. He made the relay, but I was shocked about how far away he was from home when Teahen got the ball," he said.

Thome had plenty of clutch hits for the White Sox during his four-year stint before signing with the Twins in the offseason, but Chicago decided not to re-sign him and moved to a more contact-hitting team.

"I was praying for Hardy to try to steal second so we can pitch around Jim to face [Nick] Punto, but it didn't work out that way. It was an interesting game to win," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Pinch-hitter Andruw Jones singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth. Mark Buehrle (2-0) pitched eight innings and Jenks held on for his first save.

Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer, and Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham had solo shots for the White Sox.

Joe Mauer doubled twice for the Twins, who finished a season-opening road trip 5-2 and are set to open Target Field against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.

Buehrle settled down after the third inning for another strong start, allowing four runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out one

Nick Blackburn (1-1) pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and one walk.

With two outs in the eighth inning, Blackburn gave up back-to-back singles to Konerko and Carlos Quentin. After left-hander Jose Mijares replaced Blackburn, Jones batted for Kotsay. Jones singled to left and Quentin scored, just beating Delmon Young's throw.

After pitching seven scoreless innings in Monday's opener against Cleveland, Buehrle gave up two runs in the first inning. With one out, Orlando Hudson singled and moved to third on Mauer's double, and both scored on Justin Morneau's single.

Blackburn couldn't hold the lead in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Quentin doubled and Konerko followed with his third homer of the season to tie the score.

Denard Span led off the third with a double, and scored one out later on Mauer's double to left. With two outs, Mauer scored on Michael Cuddyer's single to put the Twins up 4-2.

Blackburn couldn't hold the lead again.

Kotsay homered with two outs in the fourth to pull the White Sox within one, and Beckham tied the score on the first pitch in the sixth inning.


Hardy made a nice pickup on Konerko's grounder in the fourth inning to start a double play. Hardy fielded the ball behind second base and flipped the ball to second baseman Hudson, who barehanded while on the bag and threw to first to get the second out. ... Jones broke out of an 0-for-7 slump with his first hit of the season.

Copyright 2017 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.
Players of the Game

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0

P. Konerko
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF4110000 .143
Orlando Hudson, 2B4120011 .233
Joe Mauer, C4221001 .381
Justin Morneau, 1B4012001 .360
Michael Cuddyer, RF4021001 .310
Delmon Young, LF2000102 .263
   a- Jason Kubel, PH1000010 .176
J.J. Hardy, SS3010001 .286
Brendan Harris, DH2000100 .111
   b- Jim Thome, PH-DH1010001 .231
Nick Punto, 3B3000001 .133
a-struck out for Young in the 9th
b-singled for Harris in the 9th
2B - Denard Span (1, Buehrle), Joe Mauer 2 (3, Buehrle, Buehrle)
SH - J.J. Hardy (1)
RBI - Joe Mauer (4), Justin Morneau 2 (6), Michael Cuddyer (1)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Cuddyer (1)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Hardy-Hudson-Morneau, Morneau-Hardy
E - Delmon Young (1, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (L,1-1) 7.2855103 5.02
Jose Mijares0100000 9.00
Matt Guerrier 0.1000000 0.00
HBP - Quentin (by Nick Blackburn)
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 98-63, Jose Mijares 5-3, Matt Guerrier 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 14-7, Matt Guerrier 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 31, Jose Mijares 1, Matt Guerrier 1
Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF4000001 .125
Gordon Beckham, 2B4111000 .227
Carlos Quentin, RF3220000 .333
Paul Konerko, 1B3122101 .316
Mark Kotsay, DH3111001 .154
   a- Andruw Jones, PH-DH1011000 .125
Alex Rios, CF4000003 .174
A.J. Pierzynski, C3010000 .227
Alexei Ramirez, SS3010001 .182
Mark Teahen, 3B3000001 .071
a-singled for Kotsay in the 8th
2B - Carlos Quentin (2, Blackburn)
HR - Gordon Beckham (1, Blackburn), Paul Konerko (3, Blackburn), Mark Kotsay (1, Blackburn)
RBI - Gordon Beckham (1), Paul Konerko 2 (7), Mark Kotsay (2), Andruw Jones (1)
2-OUT RBI - Paul Konerko 2 (6), Mark Kotsay (1), Andruw Jones (1)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Juan Pierre 1
DP - Buehrle-Beckham-Konerko, A. Ramirez-Beckham-Konerko, Buehrle-Beckham-A. Ramirez-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
Mark Buehrle (W,2-0) 8844210 2.40
Bobby Jenks (S,1) 1200010 3.00
WP - Mark Buehrle (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Buehrle 113-73, Bobby Jenks 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Buehrle 11-9
Batters Faced - Mark Buehrle 31, Bobby Jenks 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25550
Game Time - 2:14
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Jerry Crawford