Chicago at Minnesota

W: C. Fien (4-4) L: J. Petricka (0-2) S: G. Perkins (18)
HR: CHW - None   MIN - J. Willingham (6)

Twins 4, White Sox 2 wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yohan Pino finally made the majors, more than 10 years into his professional career. So what was the harm of a two-hour rain delay?

For Pino and the Minnesota Twins, this was well worth the wait.

Joe Mauer drove in two runs, including the go-ahead double in the eighth inning, to push the Twins past the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Thursday night after weather delayed Pino's first major league pitch by 2 hours and 6 minutes.

"What a performance," Mauer said after the Twins stopped their season-high, five-game losing streak.

Pino, at 30 years and 175 days, had the oldest debut in Twins history. He held the White Sox to two runs in seven innings.

"Just had fun, you know. I waited for 10 years, and I was happy. I don't feel nervous. I just want to do my job. I feel great today," Pino said.

Mauer, in the middle of the worst season of his six-time All-Star career, also hit a tying single in the third. The Twins scored five runs in their previous four games.

"We need some of those guys to get going. That's huge for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Pino's start was even bigger.

He signed with the Twins in May 2004, but after reaching Double-A in July 2007 he bounced up and down between the top two levels of the minors over the following six seasons and pitched for four teams each in Double-A and Triple-A.

Traded to Cleveland in August 2009 for Carl Pavano, Pino played for three organizations until rejoining the Twins this year. When the Twins sent Sam Deduno to the bullpen, Pino was the pick after posting a 9-1 record and 1.92 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 61 innings for Triple-A Rochester. Two of his seven starts were shutouts.

"At times he found it difficult to get here, but he kept on working hard and, God willing, he got a chance to do it," Twins bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar said, translating a response from Pino to reporters in Spanish.

Josh Willingham's home run in the second, the first time in 10 starts that Jose Quintana surrendered a long ball, gave Pino a brief lead. But after a walk loaded the bases in the third, Connor Gillaspie smacked a two-run single into center field.

With Jake Petricka (0-2) pitching with runners at the corners with no outs, Mauer hooked a drive down the left-field line. Kurt Suzuki tacked on a sacrifice fly.

Glen Perkins tossed a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 20 tries. A bad back kept him from pitching Wednesday in Boston. Casey Fien (4-4), who subbed as the closer Wednesday and gave up two homers in the 10th inning in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox, returned to the eighth-inning role and earned the victory that really belonged to Pino.

Having gained valuable experience in the Venezuelan Winter League, Pino has become good enough at changing speeds and throwing breaking balls for strikes to make up for an average-at-best fastball. Given the length of his journey, the Twins were extra excited to see him take the mound.

"I told him, 'That was fun to watch. You've waited a long time for this moment,' " Gardenhire said.

Suzuki, his catcher, raved about the calm Pino showed, starting in the clubhouse during the long delay.

"His presence on the mound was like he's actually been up here doing this for a long time," Suzuki said.

Pino struck out Jose Abreu the first two times he faced the rookie slugger, an accomplishment in its own right. Abreu became the third-fastest to reach 20 home runs when he went deep Wednesday against San Francisco in his 58th career game.

During their past nine games, Twins starters have a 2.41 ERA. Pino struck out seven and allowed five hits and one walk.

"We don't know anything about the guy. Give him credit. He pitched pretty well," Gillaspie said.

Winless in four starts this month, Quintana struck out six in seven innings while allowing six hits and a walk.

"I don't think he sits there and begs for runs, but I'm sure he'd like some," manager Robin Ventura said.


After 18 games without an RBI, Mauer has three in three days. ... Home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski took a hard foul tip off the bottom of his mask in the fourth inning and was replaced for the fifth by crew chief Mark Wegner. A three-man group was used for the rest of the game.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

J. Mauer
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

C. Gillaspie
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0

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Adam Eaton, CF4110021 .272
Gordon Beckham, 2B3000111 .273
Conor Gillaspie, 3B4012000 .335
Jose Abreu, 1B4010021 .268
Adam Dunn, DH4000011 .233
Alexei Ramirez, SS4010011 .309
Dayan Viciedo, RF3000011 .245
Alejandro De Aza, LF3120000 .213
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Jose Quintana, P0000000 .000
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SB - Alejandro De Aza (9, 2nd base off Pino/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 4
DP - A. Ramirez-Beckham-Abreu
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Jose Quintana 7622161 3.87
Jake Petricka (L,0-2) 1322110 2.39
IBB - Morales by Jake Petricka
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Quintana 108-72, Jake Petricka 29-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Quintana 6-8
Batters Faced - Jose Quintana 27, Jake Petricka 7
Minnesota Twins
Danny Santana, SS4220010 .339
Brian Dozier, 2B3120111 .239
Joe Mauer, 1B4022012 .258
Josh Willingham, LF4111013 .258
Kendrys Morales, DH3000110 .225
   Pedro Florimon, PR-DH0000000 .104
Kurt Suzuki, C3011000 .305
Chris Parmelee, RF4010013 .208
Eduardo Escobar, 3B3000012 .298
Sam Fuld, CF3000000 .212
Johan Pino, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
2B - Danny Santana (7, Quintana), Brian Dozier (12, Quintana), Joe Mauer (12, Petricka), Kurt Suzuki (13, Quintana), Chris Parmelee (1, Quintana)
HR - Josh Willingham (6, Quintana)
SF - Kurt Suzuki (4)
RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (18), Josh Willingham (20), Kurt Suzuki (31)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer (4)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Sam Fuld 1
Minnesota Twins
Johan Pino 7522170 2.57
Casey Fien (W,4-4) 1000010 2.67
Glen Perkins (S,18) 1100010 2.67
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Pino 94-68, Casey Fien 5-5, Glen Perkins 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Pino 3-10, Casey Fien 2-0, Glen Perkins 2-0
Batters Faced - Johan Pino 26, Casey Fien 3, Glen Perkins 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31195
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Chris Segal