Minnesota at Chicago

W: S. Baker (10-9) L: F. Garcia (10-5)
HR: MIN - J. Thome (15),J. Hardy (5),J. Mauer (7),M. Cuddyer (11),J. Kubel (16)   CHW - C. Quentin (23)

Thome, Mauer vault Twins past White Sox for first place

CBSSports.com wire reports

CHICAGO -- Jim Thome figured the Minnesota Twins would fight the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central championship. If they keep hitting like this, they'll get the knockout.

Thome knocked his 579th homer, Joe Mauer had three more hits and the Twins took sole possession of the AL Central lead by beating the White Sox 12-6 on Tuesday night.

"We knew coming into this season, they were going to have a very good ballclub," said Thome, who spent nearly four years with the White Sox before getting dealt to the Dodgers late last season. "In our division, when you look at it, when you play the White Sox you've got to bear down. They've got a good club, good pitching, good bullpen."

Twins at White Sox

For the Twins, it was a good start to a showcase series between the top two teams in the division. Now, they're alone atop the Central for the first time since July 2.

For the White Sox?

"It was a very, very bad game from the beginning," manager Ozzie Guillen said.

The Twins pounded out five homers, starting with Thome's drive to left-center on the first pitch of the second to kick off a four-run burst against his former team that made it 5-0.

J.J. Hardy and Mauer each went deep against Freddy Garcia (10-5) in the inning, and the Twins pulled away after Chicago's Carlos Quentin hit a three-run shot off Scott Baker (10-9) in the bottom half.

Mauer now has 25 hits in 46 at-bats after going 3 for 5 and Minnesota pounded out 14 in all while winning for the fifth time in six games.

"We see stretches like this all the time with him, where he's just on every ball and getting big hits," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'd say it amazes me, but I don't know about that anymore."

Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer each added two-run homers.

It was another difficult night for the White Sox, who managed just 10 runs while dropping three of four at Baltimore and falling into a first-place tie.

Manager Ozzie Guillen went off on another tangent before the game in which he wondered why there was so much attention on the Twins and said his own team does not "feel the support." He said the White Sox deserve more credit, but they didn't exactly back him while taking just their second home loss in 15 games.

Garcia allowed six runs and eight hits over 2 1/3 innings after going 7-1 in his previous 12 starts, and while the White Sox showed some pop at the plate, it wasn't enough to make up for his difficulties.

Baker allowed five runs over six shaky innings. But he got enough support this time after throwing eight scoreless innings while taking a no-decision in his previous start against Tampa Bay.

The teams will play another three-game set at Target Field next week, and the odds that these series would showcase the top two teams in the division seemed slim not too long ago, given Chicago's problems early in the season.

"They're playing well right now," Paul Konerko said. "We're playing OK. We're not bad, we're not good, we're just right in the middle."


  • Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, now overseeing the White Sox's international scouting, had nothing but praise for Scottie Pippen. Michael Jordan's partner on the championship teams goes into the Hall of Fame on Friday. "I have the utmost respect for Scottie as a player," said Krause, who had an acrimonious relationship with Pippen. "He was a great player. He worked extremely hard, and that's what counts. There are times in a guy's career where things come up. It comes up with everybody, but what you care about is how hard a guy plays, if he gives the 82 efforts a year and he goes to the playoffs and gives you more effort, and that young man did that. He did it everyday. There were no off days for Scottie Pippen, and that's a tremendous tribute to the young man."
  • Juan Pierre went 0 for 3, ending his career-high-tying 16-game hitting streak.
  • The Twins optioned SS Trevor Plouffe to make room for Wednesday's starter Glen Perkins.
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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Jim Thome and Joe Mauer do their part with home runs to put the Twins in first place.  (AP)
Jim Thome and Joe Mauer do their part with home runs to put the Twins in first place. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Mauer
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

C. Quentin
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF6110013 .268
Orlando Hudson, 2B5110021 .284
Joe Mauer, C5233000 .325
Delmon Young, LF5110002 .320
Jason Kubel, RF2422300 .270
Michael Cuddyer, 1B5124013 .274
Jim Thome, DH4121100 .267
Danny Valencia, 3B4011002 .331
J.J. Hardy, SS4111111 .270
2B - Orlando Hudson (17, Garcia), Joe Mauer (37, Garcia), Delmon Young (35, Pena), Michael Cuddyer (27, Pena), Jim Thome (14, Garcia)
HR - Joe Mauer (7, Garcia), Jason Kubel (16, Linebrink), Michael Cuddyer (11, Pena), Jim Thome (15, Garcia), J.J. Hardy (5, Garcia)
SF - Danny Valencia (1)
RBI - Joe Mauer 3 (62), Jason Kubel 2 (70), Michael Cuddyer 4 (54), Jim Thome (37), Danny Valencia (15), J.J. Hardy (24)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (29), Jason Kubel 2 (32), Michael Cuddyer 4 (22)
Team LOB - 7
E - Delmon Young (4, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (W,10-9) 6854151 4.76
Matt Guerrier 2000000 3.27
Jon Rauch 1211020 2.98
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 85-61, Matt Guerrier 27-16, Jon Rauch 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 5-6, Matt Guerrier 4-2, Jon Rauch 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 25, Matt Guerrier 6, Jon Rauch 5
Chicago White Sox
Juan Pierre, LF3000101 .266
Omar Vizquel, 3B4000000 .287
Alex Rios, CF4120000 .298
Paul Konerko, 1B4221010 .304
Mark Kotsay, DH4120021 .233
Alexei Ramirez, SS3121000 .289
Carlos Quentin, RF4114011 .230
Ramon Castro, C4010021 .303
Brent Lillibridge, 2B4000012 .292
2B - Alex Rios (23, Baker), Alexei Ramirez (20, Rauch)
HR - Carlos Quentin (23, Baker)
SF - Alexei Ramirez (2)
RBI - Paul Konerko (78), Alexei Ramirez (44), Carlos Quentin 4 (74)
CS - Alex Rios (13, 2nd base by Baker/Mauer)
PK - Juan Pierre (3, Baker)
Team LOB - 3
Chicago White Sox
Freddy Garcia (L,10-5) 2.1866103 4.90
Tony Pena 3.2344411 5.11
Scott Linebrink 2222041 4.35
Bobby Jenks 1100000 5.01
IBB - Kubel by Tony Pena
Pitches-Strikes - Freddy Garcia 55-36, Tony Pena 70-38, Scott Linebrink 39-27, Bobby Jenks 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Freddy Garcia 2-5, Tony Pena 6-4, Bobby Jenks 3-0
Batters Faced - Freddy Garcia 16, Tony Pena 18, Scott Linebrink 8, Bobby Jenks 4
Game Information
Attendance - 30900
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds