Chicago at Minnesota

W: J. Danks (9-7) L: A. Burnett (1-2)
S: B. Jenks (20)
HR: CHW - G. Beckham (4)   MIN - None

White Sox bounce back vs. Twins to win ninth in a row wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ozzie Guillen has made no secret of his admiration for the Minnesota Twins over the years.

The outspoken Chicago White Sox manager loves how the Twins have done all the little things right, relying on pitching, defense and fundamentals to wear opponents down en route to five division titles this decade.

Seven years into his tenure, Guillen finally has his team playing like those pesky Twins of old, and to fantastic results.

Gordon Beckham had a home run and two RBI and John Danks recovered from his worst inning of the season to help the White Sox win their ninth game in a row, 8-7 over the Twins on Thursday night.

Danks (9-7) gave up six runs on six hits in the second inning, but only allowed three hits in his other five scoreless innings and the White Sox did all the little things right to push the slumping Twins 4½ games behind them in the AL Central.

"We've been playing good baseball," said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a former Twin. "We've been catching the ball, we've been pitching, just doing things right. We've kind of been playing Twins baseball. Just catching the ball and throwing strikes and doing what we need to do to win."

Bobby Jenks picked up his 20th save in 21 chances. He struck out Orlando Hudson with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, then gave up an RBI-single to Delmon Young in the ninth before getting Jim Thome looking to end the game.

Chicago perfectly executed four hit-and-runs, bunted runners over and played superb defense for their 26th win in the last 31 games.

"When you're up against those guys you try to shut them down as quick as you can," Guillen said. "That's the only way to beat them. We all know how they play the game. We all know how they don't give up."

The Twins lost for the seventh time in nine games and suffered through another terrible outing by their starting pitcher. Kevin Slowey was tagged for five runs on nine hits in three innings and Alex Burnett (1-2) gave up three more runs in relief.

"It wasn't a very good performance," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Slowey. "He didn't get the ball where he wanted to. He was up in the zone."

Juan Pierre had three hits and an RBI and Alex Rios added two hits and two RBI for the White Sox.

Joe Mauer had three hits and three RBI and J.J. Hardy chipped in two hits and an RBI for Minnesota.

These two teams were headed in opposite directions going into the break, with the White Sox going 25-5 to take a half-game lead in the division. It's been a startling turnaround for a team that was 24-33 and 9½ games down on June 8.

The White Sox scratched their way to a 4-0 lead early thanks to three sacrifice flies and Beckham's solo homer that reached the second deck in left field.

"I've been struggling and searching for it a lot more than I've been comfortable out there lately," Slowey said.

The Twins responded in the bottom of the second inning, scoring six runs on six hits, including Joe Mauer's bases loaded double down the third baseline that gave them a 6-4 lead.

But Danks settled down after that facing just one more batter than the minimum while the White Sox climbed back into the game. Beckham had an RBI-single in the fourth and A.J. Pierzynski's two-run double highlighted Chicago's three-run fifth inning to put them back in the lead.

In a role reversal, it was the Twins this time who committed the blunders to let the game slip away to the smarter, sharper White Sox.

Denard Span popped up a bunt attempt to Danks in the fourth and Burnett balked home the tying run in the fifth when he never let his pitch to Mark Kotsay go.

The Twins have just six wins in their last 20 games and will play this entire series without All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau, who was placed on the disabled list with a concussion.

The biggest concern, though, is the starting pitchers, including Slowey, Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker, who have all been wildly inconsistent this year.

"It's the same group that took us a long way last year and we won a division with them," Gardenhire said. "Our job is to get them right as much as we can. If it doesn't work out, we have to make a decision and make a move."

  • Twins LHP Brian Duensing , one of their most valued relievers, was not available because of illness.
  • Rios's single in the sixth inning was career hit No. 1,000.
  • Twins RF Jason Kubel went 1 for 5 with four strikeouts.
  • Gardenhire said Twins INF Matt Tolbert's finger is still hurting and he will remain on the disabled list for the time being.
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.
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Although the Twins score once in the ninth, Bobby Jenks manages to hang on for the save. (AP)
Although the Twins score once in the ninth, Bobby Jenks manages to hang on for the save. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Mauer
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

G. Beckham
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF4231000 .262
Omar Vizquel, 3B4120112 .261
Alex Rios, CF3022012 .309
Paul Konerko, 1B5010014 .297
Carlos Quentin, RF2101101 .242
Mark Kotsay, DH5120022 .234
A.J. Pierzynski, C4111003 .247
Alexei Ramirez, SS4110011 .274
Gordon Beckham, 2B3122100 .221
2B - A.J. Pierzynski (17, Burnett), Alexei Ramirez (15, Slowey)
HR - Gordon Beckham (4, Slowey)
SF - Alex Rios 2 (4), Carlos Quentin (3)
SH - Juan Pierre (11)
RBI - Juan Pierre (15), Alex Rios 2 (51), Carlos Quentin (62), A.J. Pierzynski (26), Gordon Beckham 2 (24)
PK - Alex Rios (1, Crain)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Vizquel-A. Ramirez-Konerko
Chicago White Sox
John Danks (W,9-7) 6966250 3.58
J.J. Putz (H,8) 0.2100000 1.56
Matt Thornton (H,13) 0.1000010 2.68
Sergio Santos (H,9) 0.2300000 1.88
Bobby Jenks (S,20) 1.1211030 3.97
IBB - Cuddyer by John Danks
Pitches-Strikes - John Danks 111-71, J.J. Putz 10-6, Matt Thornton 5-3, Sergio Santos 13-7, Bobby Jenks 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Danks 5-7, Sergio Santos 1-1, Bobby Jenks 1-0
Batters Faced - John Danks 28, J.J. Putz 3, Matt Thornton 1, Sergio Santos 5, Bobby Jenks 6
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5121011 .275
Orlando Hudson, 2B4110114 .281
Joe Mauer, C5133001 .298
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4000114 .264
Jason Kubel, RF5110044 .263
Delmon Young, LF5021001 .306
Jim Thome, DH5110012 .253
J.J. Hardy, SS4121010 .233
Nick Punto, 3B3121000 .248
   a- Danny Valencia, PH-3B1010000 .322
a-singled for Punto in the 8th
2B - Orlando Hudson (14, Putz), Joe Mauer 2 (26, Danks, Jenks)
RBI - Denard Span (38), Joe Mauer 3 (38), Delmon Young (59), J.J. Hardy (15), Nick Punto (19)
2-OUT RBI - Denard Span (18), Joe Mauer 3 (18), Delmon Young (28), J.J. Hardy (6), Nick Punto (5)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Denard Span 1
DP - Span-Hudson, Hardy-Hudson-Cuddyer
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey 3955021 4.95
Alex Burnett (L,1-2) 1233210 4.17
Jesse Crain 2100120 3.72
Ron Mahay 2100010 3.54
Matt Guerrier 1100000 2.90
HBP - Quentin (by Kevin Slowey)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 75-48, Alex Burnett 26-11, Jesse Crain 28-19, Ron Mahay 27-21, Matt Guerrier 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 2-4, Alex Burnett 2-0, Jesse Crain 3-0, Ron Mahay 4-0, Matt Guerrier 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 18, Alex Burnett 7, Jesse Crain 7, Ron Mahay 6, Matt Guerrier 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40697
Game Time - 3:34
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dan Iassogna