Twins edge White Sox in 10 innings
It was reminiscent of the days not too long ago when the Minnesota Twins tormented the Chicago White Sox.
After dropping 22 of the previous 28 games against the White Sox dating to Aug. 5, 2011, the Twins got back to twisting the arm of their American League Central rival on a cold Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
Minnesota churned out a gritty 2-1 victory in 10 innings to push its winning streak to three games and get back to .500 at 7-7. Chicago (7-10) dropped its second straight game and is just 3-7 in the last 10 games.
"It was a tough day out there offensively, but that's because the pitching was good on both sides," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, whose small-ball style used to continually frustrate the White Sox back when Minnesota dominated the rivalry. "You just have to scratch your way through it and get a win, one way or another."
Ryan Doumit scored the winning run after leading off the 10th with a double to left and then coming around on a throwing error to first by Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
Eduardo Escobar's hustle to first on the grounder that Ramirez fielded might have led to a hurried throw, which bounced before getting to Jeff Keppinger -- who had slid over from second to start the inning because first baseman Paul Konerko had left the game in the ninth for a pinch runner.
"Fortunately, Doumit leads off with a double," Gardenhire said. "We don't get him over (to third), but they make a mistake and that normally ends up costing you."
Glen Perkins picked up the save by pitching a scoreless 10th for the Twins, who got a great start out of Vance Worley (1-2) and strong showings from all four relievers.
Hector Santiago (0-1), Chicago's sixth reliever, took the loss for the Sox -- who got another strong start out of Jake Peavy (2-1).
It was a tough loss to stomach for both Peavy and his teammates considering he went seven innings, struck out nine and gave up just one run on a day he didn't have his best stuff.
"We have to find a way (to win close games)," Peavy said. "My personal wins and losses (don't matter), but wins and losses on my fifth day are important to me.
"When you start a game your team loses, I don't care how it happens ... it's not fun. I believe we will find a way. We went through some tough stretches last year and hopefully we can right the ship here sooner or later."
After each starter allowed an early run, Peavy and Worley took over the game and turned it into a pitching duel.
Peavy stranded runners in scoring position four times and then struck out two of the final four hitters he faced in the top of the seventh to keep the score 1-1. He also struck out two in an inning four separate times and got four outs on called strikes.
The only damage against him came in the top of the third when Brian Dozier singled with one out and scored from second two batters later on Josh Willingham's single up the middle.
"You hate wasting outings like that," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "Anytime a guy pitches like that, it's unfortunate when you don't get him a win. He's been pitching well enough to get a couple wins out of it and today was the same. He always gives you that opportunity."
Worley was just as effective and deceptive after allowing Alejandro De Aza's home run into the bullpen in right field to lead off the Chicago first. Worley struck out two of the next three hitters he faced and fanned three more in the next two innings for five strikeouts in three innings pitched -- all on called third strikes.
Thanks to the schedule plus a couple of canceled games, Worley had a full week between starts. He wound up working out some mechanical kinks in the three bullpen sessions since his previous start on April 12 against the Mets -- in which he lasted just one inning and allowed nine runs (seven earned).
"I had it figured out," said Worley, who toted a 10.50 ERA into this game. "Today I pitched. It wasn't me trying to overdo anything out there. It was just going after hitters and trusting my mechanics and that made pitching a little easier."
Worley had little trouble with the White Sox until the seventh, which he also worked out of without a run crossing the plate. After allowing a leadoff single to Konerko, he got two outs before a bloop single by Jordan Danks fell just beyond his glove and charging shortstop Pedro Florimon behind the mound.
Worley, who struck out seven, then stranded the runners at first and second by getting Tyler Flowers to fly out.
Minnesota loaded the bases in the top of the eighth on three walks issued by three different Chicago relievers, but Nate Jones and a great defensive play by Conor Gillaspie got the Sox off the hook.
NOTES: Chicago placed left fielder Dayan Viciedo on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain before the game and called up 25-year old outfielder Blake Tekotte from Class AAA Charlotte. Viciedo, who hurt himself during an at bat on Thursday in Toronto, is hitting .229 with two home runs and five RBI in 13 games. White Sox starting pitcher John Danks was scheduled to make another start in extended spring training and then come to Chicago to meet with coaches and general manager Rick Hahn prior to possibly being sent to the minors on a rehab assignment. ... Mauer's single to right field in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He's now two games away from his season high of a year ago and six games away from his career high. ... Minnesota came into the game hitting .296 with runners in scoring position, which ranked third in baseball, but stranded 14 runners and went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. ... The Twins' designated hitter on Saturday was Oswaldo Arcia, who was on his second call-up from Class AAA Rochester this week.
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